Lindback gets the start in net tonight vs. Hurricanes
After missing 13 games with a high ankle sprain, goaltender Anders Lindback will start tonight against the Hurricanes at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.
"I'm excited to be back," Lindback said. "It feels good."
Lindback, 24, hasn't played since he hurt the ankle in the first period of the March 20 game at Toronto. In his previous five starts (after sitting for three games and working with goaltenders coach Frantz Jean), it seemed as if Lindback had turned his season around, going 3-2-0 with a 1.81 goals-against average and .941 save percentage.
He said Tampa Bay's acquisition of Ben Bishop or that he had yet to play for new coach Jon Cooper was not part of the equation for his return.
"It's just the time," Lindback said. "We don't want to rush anything because it could end up in a bad way. We've just been kind of monitoring it and being really cautious about it. Obviously, I want to play as many games as I can. I want to get the experience and I want to get better, so that's the games I need to play."
"I don't know if it was more important for me, but more important for Lindy to know that he can get back and play an NHL game," Cooper said. "He shouldn't worry about what I'm thinking."
More important, Cooper said is "just making sure (Lindbacks') mind-set is about playing well and what he's going to do this summer to get ready for next year."
Other stuff from the morning skate: The skate was optional so only about a dozen players participated. ... Forward Tom Pyatt (head) and defenseman Sami Salo (back) are expected to play. ... No word yet on a scratch for tonight's game. ... Cooper has been high on the newly constructed line of Dana Tyrell, B.J. Crombeen and Pierre-Cedric Labrie. "You'd be hard-pressed to say they might have been our most effective line for the last two games," Cooper said. "Is energy the word? I guess you can say they give us energy, but they spend the whole time in the offensive end. They give us scoring chances. They've been really effective. If you want to win in this league, you can't be a one-trick pony. You have to have a lot of balance and come at teams from different angles. Hopefully, we've found something moving forward." ... Interesting take by Cooper on how long the process might be to get the team to where he wants. "It will be Thanksgiving or Christmas before you get your team going on all cylinders. It just takes time, but it will be nice to have training camp to work with the guys before you get behind the bench." ... Lindback said he hasn't heard but would be willing to play in the world championship for Sweden. "It's a high level of play," he said. "It's a good way to get better."