Kostka skating again, says, 'I think I've been pretty fortunate'
Lightning defenseman Mike Kostka was back on the ice during Tuesday's morning skate, though wearing a red no-contact jersey.
Kostka sustained a concussion in the third period of Tuesday's 3-1 victory over the Canadiens when he briefly was knocked unconscious by an elbow to the jaw from Montreal defenseman Douglas Murray. Kostka said his symptoms were minimal (mostly some dizziness) and he has done off-ice workouts with no ill effects.
"I wouldn't be moving forward if I was feeling any of the symptoms," Kostka said. "Just keep pushing forward and, hopefully, it stays like it is. Taking the right steps so I don't jump in there too quickly."
Kostka said he has spoken to friends and teammates who have had both mild and severe concussions and said, "I think I've been pretty fortunate. That's kind of the tricky thing. Sometimes you don't feel much and then out of the blue something pops up. That's why regardless of whether you're feeling really good or not, you just have to be careful with the process to make sure you get back on time and as soon as possible."
Other stuff from the morning skate: Ben Bishop gets the start in net Tuesday against the Maple Leafs. Sounds as if Lindback will play one of the back-to-back games Thursday-Friday and perhaps the regular-season finale Sunday at Washington. ... No definitive word on Tuesday's scratches, though forwards Ryan Malone, B.J. Crombeen and Cody Kunyk, and defensemen Keith Aulie and Mark Barberio were late off the ice this morning. ... Rookie defenseman Andrej Sustr said he was "really unhappy" when in mid January he was sent to AHL Syracuse. But on the plane ride to Syracuse he decided to make the best of the situation. "I was, like, 'I'm here for a reason.' I was actually looking forward to good development down there as far as playing a lot of minutes and being a big part of the team." Unfortunately, Sustr sustained two injuries, a separated left shoulder and another upper-body injury he declined to divulge, and ended up playing just 12 games for the Crunch. But instead of playing 15 minutes with the Lightning he said he played 22 minutes or more for Syracuse. "So, it was still good for me," he said, and added, "You go down there expecting to play a lot and then (injuries) happen. On the other hand, it's another thing you've got to learn from, just learn how to make the most out of it. Use the time for progress and to get better." ... Defenseman Radko Gudas, in his first public comments about the match penalty he received for an illegal hit to the head Saturday against the Stars, said he did not understand the severity of the penalty and that he believes Dallas' Antoine Roussel skated into him. "I had the puck on my stick and I wanted to turn fast," said Gudas, who did not face supplemental discipline from the league. "I knew he was there. I saw him coming. I kew who it was. He's going to be running at me, and he's going to be hitting me if I touch the puck first. So I'm going to make myself strong. I don't know what he was doing there." ... Sun Sports, after Thursday's game with the Flyers, will televise an edition of Inside the Lightning called "The Captain and the Cup," highlighting former captain Dave Andreychuk.