Make us your home page

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

(View our Privacy Policy)

Recoveries taking longer than expected for Johnson, Paquette

Tampa Bay Lightning center Tyler Johnson (9) battles to control the puck against Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel (15) with Lightning goalie Ben Bishop (30) back on the play during second period action at the Amalie Arena in Tampa Saturday evening (10/17/15). (DIRK SHADD   |   Times)

Tampa Bay Lightning center Tyler Johnson (9) battles to control the puck against Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel (15) with Lightning goalie Ben Bishop (30) back on the play during second period action at the Amalie Arena in Tampa Saturday evening (10/17/15). (DIRK SHADD | Times)

SAN JOSE, Calif. — The Lightning had hoped C Tyler Johnson and C Cedric Paquette could return during the back-to-back games this weekend.

But with their recoveries from injuries taking longer than expected, both were scratched Saturday against the Sharks and were doubtful for tonight against the Kings.

"Disappointing," coach Jon Cooper said.

Johnson skated a couple of times last week as he recovers from an undisclosed injury suffered on the first shift of a Nov. 27 game against the Capitals. Paquette (upper body) hasn't played since Nov. 14 against the Panthers. Both are targeting a return Thursday against the Senators.

"When they come back, they're not coming back 75, 80 percent, they've got to come back 100 percent," Cooper said. "We can't have all these injuries recurring all the time. Can't have that. So we hope we get home and these guys take a few more strides forward."

LW Ondrej Palat (left ankle) continues to progress, having missed four weeks of his scheduled four- to five-week timetable. Cooper said Palat could return this week, "questionable" for Thursday.

MARCHING ON: C Jonathan Marchessault might have played his way onto the roster. He appeared in his 10th game Saturday, making him waiver-eligible, meaning he'll have to clear if the Lightning tries to send him back to AHL Syracuse.

Marchessault has been impressive in filling in while Paquette, Palat, Johnson and since-returned LW Jonathan Drouin have been hurt, with two goals entering Saturday (not including a shootout goal). Marchessault has also been on the power play. It'd be hard to envision Marchessault not getting picked up by another team if he is reassigned when Johnson, Palat and Paquette are back. So Marchessault is likely to stay, giving Tampa Bay 14 forwards when healthy, barring a trade.

"I just go with the flow, and it's going to be their decision at the end," Marchessault said. "We'll see what's going to happen. I'm just happy to be here. You try to come here and make them do a hard decision. Hopefully I can stay."

LEANING RIGHT: After spending most of this season at his natural center spot, Steven Stamkos has been playing right wing the past three games. As it was during last season's playoffs, Valtteri Filppula has centered Stamkos, with Alex Killorn on the left.

"We've got injuries. We're trying to make things happen," Cooper said. "All 'Stammer' wants to do is win. You talk to him about where he's playing, what is going to happen, he's like, 'Let's do it. Let's go get a win.' "

Stamkos said that though playing wing isn't new, it takes a few games to adjust. He had two assists and five shots Nov. 28 against the Islanders, just one shot Wednesday against the Ducks.

"You can put a spin on anything, 'try to free you up, get guys going,' " Stamkos said. "But whatever it is, things aren't going well if you have to switch things up."

LINING UP: G Ben Bishop started Saturday, with G Andrei Vasilevskiy likely playing tonight but not guaranteed.

Recoveries taking longer than expected for Johnson, Paquette 12/05/15 [Last modified: Sunday, December 6, 2015 1:10am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays' Evan Longoria: "We have all the belief in the world in here"


    The weekend sweep by Texas and four-game overall losing streak has some Rays fans - based on their tweets and emails - questioning the team's ability to make the playoffs and suggesting they might as well trade away their key parts.

  2. What are the odds the Rays trade for Brad Hand or Pat Neshek?


    In each of the last three seasons, the Rays have been sellers at the trade deadline. They shipped away David Price in 2014, got rid of David DeJesus and Kevin Jepsen in 2015 and flipped Matt Moore, Steve Pearce and Brandon Guyer in 2016.

    Padres left-hander Brad Hand has excelled in his two years with the team.
  3. Gerald McCoy cares too much about what you think of him

    The Heater

    Gerald McCoy is right. We are going to miss him when he's gone.

    Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy is one of 16 players to record at least five sacks in each of the past five seasons. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  4. Ronde Barber says comments about McCoy 'sensationalized'


    If anyone thinks Ronde Barber was throwing shade at Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, think again.

    "That anyone would assume I would say the best player on the defense isn’t a bad dude is irresponsible and sensationalizing a quote to serve their own means,'' Ronde Barber said.
  5. USA Today sees Bucs as 10-6 wild card team in 2017


    Another day, another national outlet making NFL predictions, and this one is promising for Tampa Bay fans, as USA Today's Nate Davis has the Bucs going 10-6 and making the …

    Bucs DT Gerald McCoy tries to bring down Giants QB Eli Manning in a 2015 game. Tampa Bay and New York are both picked to finish 10-6 in USA Today's preseason predictions, both making the playoffs as wild cards.