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)

Malone injury worse than first thought

Ryan Malone was hurt before Sunday's game against the Rangers.

DIRK SHADD | Times

Ryan Malone was hurt before Sunday's game against the Rangers.

TAMPA — We're still not sure about the nature of Ryan Malone's lower-body injury, but we do know it is worse than first indicated — he might be out three to four weeks, coach Guy Boucher said — and it was caused, as the Lightning left wing described, "trying to kick a soccer ball."

That happened before Sunday's game with the Rangers at Madison Square Garden as players went through their usual pregame kick-around and Malone apparently aggravated an existing injury sustained earlier in the season.

"It was just kind of a weird instance," he said Tuesday. "It's disappointing. Obviously, you'd rather be hurt when you're out there playing."

"It's going to be tough missing him, and other guys have to step up," Boucher said. "We've got a young kid that we've been meaning to bring up, and we got an opportunity to do so."

That would be F Richard Panik (pronounced PAH-nik), who had 21 goals, 35 points and 79 penalty minutes in 43 games for AHL Syracuse.

"A huge opportunity for me," he said.

The more immediate concern is Malone, 33, who has four goals, five points in 10 games. Because of injuries Malone never has played a full year with Tampa Bay, playing 70, 69, 54 and 68 games, respectively, in four previous seasons.

"I feel bad for him. Every year he gets injured," Boucher said. "In a short season like now, one month, that's a lot. Can't wait to get him back, and when we do we'll be a better team."

While Boucher's timetable for Malone's recovery is extended — Malone could miss up to 14 games — the player said the injury won't need surgery and he might be back in 10 days.

"Hope for the best," he said.

CHANGING: The knock on Panik, drafted 52nd overall in 2009, always has been inconsistent play. As Boucher described, "He sometimes had flashes of brilliance but sometimes just wasn't there."

Panik, 6 feet 1, 208 pounds, who turned 22 on Thursday, said it was a mind-set issue.

"I talked to Coop," Panik said of Syracuse coach Jon Cooper. "He told me I have to work harder every game. I tried to do that. It's just mental. Just be prepared for every game."

"He's got unbelievable hands and skill," Boucher said, "a big guy, tremendous speed, puck protection; a solid hockey player."

LEARNING: After a sizzling start in which he had five goals and 12 points in seven games, LW Cory Conacher entered Tuesday without a point in four straight.

He still led all rookies in points and with seven assists, but that was no consolation.

"I have to understand the goals are going to be harder to come by," he said. "It's starting to become playoff hockey. … You have to continue to go to those dirty areas. It's important for me to keep driving to the net."

ODDS AND ENDS: Panik said his parents and girlfriend made a 17-hour flight from Slovakia to be at the Tampa Bay Times Forum for his NHL debut. … Former Lightning D Pavel Kubina signed with Switzerland's Geneve-Servette. … Defensemen Brendan Mikkelson and Marc-Andre Bergeron and RW Pierre-Cedric Labrie were scratched.

Malone injury worse than first thought 02/12/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 9:44pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays journal: Erasmo Ramirez ready to start a day after closing game

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — RHP Erasmo Ramirez was on the mound to finish Sunday's 15-inning marathon win over the Twins and will start tonight's game against the Rangers.

    The Rays’ Erasmo Ramirez throws 12 pitches in the 15th inning against the Twins to earn the save then says after the game that he’s ready to make his scheduled start against the Rangers: “My arm feels good.”
  2. Rays exhausted but happy after 15-inning win over Twins (w/video)

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — Before the Rays eventually won Sunday's 6½-hour, 15-inning marathon against the Twins 8-6, they did plenty to lose it. And we need to get that out of the way first.

    The Rays’ Evan Longoria enjoys a laugh after scoring, barely, to tie it in the ninth on Steven Souza Jr.’s two-out single.
  3. Tom Jones' Two Cents: ABC's Indy 500 coverage is stellar again

    TV and Radio

    Times columnist Tom Jones looks back at the best and worst from a weekend of televised sports.

    Best coverage

    Takuma Sato left, celebrates after winning the Indianapolis 500 as Helio Castroneves is a little late passing him. ABC’s coverage of the race is stellar throughout, with plenty of extras but no fake drama.
  4. Takuma Sato surprise winner of wreck-filled Indy 500

    Auto racing

    INDIANAPOLIS — Takuma Sato, a journeyman driver, became the first Japanese winner of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday when he held off three-time champion Helio Castroneves in a 230-mph wheel-rubbing duel to the finish.

    Scott Dixon’s car goes over the top of Jay Howard, soaring so high that Helio Castroneves drove under it while it was airborne. Stunningly, there were no serious injuries.
  5. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Sunday's Rays-Twins game

    The Heater

    The Rays won because they got two innings of good relief from each of the two pitchers who contributed to them losing Saturday's game, Danny Farquhar (who again struck out Miguel Sano) and Tommy Hunter, who both posted zeroes.