Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Injured Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Mike Smith returns from road trip to Tampa for treatment

A Lightning trainer checks goalie Mike Smith, as defenseman Matt Walker listens in, after the Capitals’ Brooks Laich ran over him in the first period of Tuesday’s game. The team doesn’t believe Smith, who hasn’t skated since leaving that game in the second period, has a concussion. The Lightning says Smith is day-to-day and improving.

DIRK SHADD | Times

A Lightning trainer checks goalie Mike Smith, as defenseman Matt Walker listens in, after the Capitals’ Brooks Laich ran over him in the first period of Tuesday’s game. The team doesn’t believe Smith, who hasn’t skated since leaving that game in the second period, has a concussion. The Lightning says Smith is day-to-day and improving.

RALEIGH, N.C. — Injured Lightning goalie Mike Smith has been sent back to Tampa, but he has not suffered any setbacks and could return to practice Wednesday, team athletic trainer Tommy Mulligan said Sunday.

Smith, who strained his neck when he was run over by the Capitals' Brooks Laich on Tuesday, joined the team on its three-game road trip Friday, but once it was decided he wouldn't be ready to play in those games, he flew back Saturday to Tampa, where he's able to get more specialized chiropractic care.

Mulligan said the team still doesn't believe the injury is concussion-related. He said Smith's symptoms continue to be in the neck area, and it's believed the injury is not a "long-term" deal.

"We just don't want this to continue to linger," Mulligan said of Smith, who played seven weeks last season with concussion symptoms before telling the team and ended up needing eight months for recovery..

The Lightning has been saying Smith is day-to-day and has been improving, but he hasn't skated with the team since his most recent injury. Mulligan said Smith could skate in Tampa today. With coach Rick Tocchet saying he'd like to get Smith in a few practices before he considers starting the goalie again, it's unknown when Smith will get back in a game.

Antero Niittymaki, who gave up five goals on 18 shots Saturday in a 5-2 loss to the Panthers, will start tonight against the Hurricanes. "Nitty deserves to play again," Tocchet said. "He had a tough night, and we'll see how he responds."

It's possible Dustin Tokarski, who made his NHL debut in Saturday's third period two days after being called up from AHL Norfolk, could see action, depending on when Smith returns.

When asked if he was more concerned about Smith than he was last week, Tocchet said "You're always concerned every day that goes by, but I hear it's not a concussion thing, so that's nice to know."

In other injury news, defenseman Matt Smaby (concussion) said he's ready to play, and Tocchet said he could be in the lineup tonight. Right wing Todd Fedoruk (lower-body injury) said he's also ready to go.

Downie continues to impress: Tocchet said right wing Steve Downie's recent play has earned him an opportunity to join Marty St. Louis and Steven Stamkos on the top line. Downie has a career-high in goals (10) and assists (12), and leads Tampa Bay at plus-6.

"Steve Downie deserves to play more," Tocchet said. "He's been one of our better players the last two, three weeks. He's playing with an attitude that I want. He deserves to play, and I want to get him up there."

Injured Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Mike Smith returns from road trip to Tampa for treatment 01/17/10 [Last modified: Monday, January 18, 2010 12:12am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. NFL Week 3: What we learned

    Bucs

    Take the knee … well, not NOW

     1. Photo of Roger Mooney for Times Sports.
  2. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Sunday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    RHP Chris Archer's primary problem Sunday, as in much of September, was a lack of slider command. When he can't throw it where he wants, and doesn't have the confidence in the changeup to throw it often, he can't win with just his fastball.

  3. Somehow, Rays' Chris Archer remains just shy of being an ace

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — Chris Archer had another bad game Sunday.

    Chris Archer is sputtering to the finish line, his rough start on Sunday his fourth in his past five in which he hasn’t gotten past four innings.
  4. Bradenton high school senior Chasten Whitfield inspires young anglers

    Outdoors

    MADEIRA BEACH — The kids lined up single file, snow cones in hand, a procession of sweaty, excited grade schoolers watching Chasten Whitfield throw a cast net.

    Whitfield, a senior at Bradenton Manatee, demonstrates how to throw a cast net at the FishKids tournament in Madeira Beach. She also taught knot tying.
  5. Wreck helps Kyle Busch take control of Monster Cup's ISM 300

    Auto racing

    LOUDON, N.H. — Kyle Busch saw little but billowing white smoke that engulfed the track and blinded enough drivers that it caused a tremendous wreck that notably altered the race running order.

    Kyle Busch celebrates with a burnout after his third victory of the season that earns a berth in the second round of NASCAR’s playoffs. He also has some fun with Loudon the Lobster.