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)

Tampa Bay Lightning hits milestone for man-games lost to injury

TAMPA — The Lightning hit a milestone Sunday when it passed 300 man-games lost to injury or illness.

The team is at 305, its most since 456 in 1999-2000. And with seven players on the shelf, including D Matt Smaby, who went down Friday with a lower body injury vs. the Capitals, and six games left, well, you do the math.

"Not this bad, no way," coach Rick Tocchet replied when asked if he had ever experienced anything like it.

A consequence of the injuries is the number of players who have suited up. With RW Brandon Bochenski up from AHL Norfolk, Tampa Bay is at 49, a league high and four off the team record set in (no surprise) 1999-2000. It is six off the NHL record set by the Bruins in 1991-92.

What caused the injuries? Bad luck, for sure. But Tocchet blamed in part the team's general lack of puck possession.

"Hopefully, next year our team will definitely change in that we will not be defending all the time," he said. "If you're defending all the time, that's when you get hurt."

No surprise, then, the defense has been hit so hard. Paul Ranger and Andrej Meszaros saw their seasons end in early February because of shoulder injuries. Cory Murphy (foot) and Marek Malik (ankle) also seem done, and three other defensemen have missed at least six games.

The result: The blue line has lost 132 man-games to injury, and 20 defensemen have suited up. "That's the stuff that's unheard of," Tocchet said. "I hope it's resilience for next year."

ROSTER MOVES: Bochenski was called up in response to Smaby's injury. Tampa Bay wanted to look at Bochenski, who has 27 goals, 53 points in 69 games for the Admirals. LW David Koci was the sixth defensemen against Ottawa.

"It's a game-by-game thing," Tocchet said of how long a look he'll give Bochenski, on a one-way contract next season.

FAN APPRECIATION: Owner Oren Koules and GM Brian Lawton spent about an hour before the game answering questions from several hundred invited ex-season ticket holders.

Most interesting was Lawton saying he didn't do Tocchet any favors with the interim label he still has, though his intentions were good. "I could have helped Rick out without the interim tag, but I didn't want him to face a lot of pressure when he started," Lawton said.

ODDS AND ENDS: Malik and F Paul Szczechura (lower body) also were scratched.

Tampa Bay Lightning hits milestone for man-games lost to injury 03/29/09 [Last modified: Monday, March 30, 2009 7:48am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Life sentence for man convicted in killing of brother of Bucs' Kwon Alexander

    Bucs

    An Alabama man who shot and killed the 17-year-old brother of Bucs linebacker Kwon Alexander in 2015 was sentenced to life in prison Wednesday, the Anniston (Ala.) Star reported.

  2. Rays journal: Blake Snell continues roll in win over Cubs (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It was still a game in the fifth inning when LHP Blake Snell walked the leadoff batter, then allowed a single. One swing by the Cubs' Ian Happ (22 home runs) could put a dent in the Rays' three-run lead.

    Blake Snell allows just two hits in pitching seven scoreless innings.
  3. Remember him? Numbers prove Ben Zobrist is one of greatest Rays of all time

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The first foray back to the Trop by the best manager the Rays have had obscured the second return visit by arguably the second-best player in franchise history.

    Figures.

    Chicago Cubs second baseman Ben Zobrist (18) grounds into a double play to end the top of the third inning of the game between the Chicago Cubs and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017.
  4. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Wednesday's Rays-Cubs game

    The Heater

    One success story of this lost season is the emergence of LHP Blake Snell as the frontline starter the Rays projected. After a rough start and two demotions, he has been rolling, Wednesday's solid seven innings making him 4-0, 2.57 in his past eight starts.

  5. Rays at Orioles, 7:05 p.m. Thursday, Camden Yards, Baltimore

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Orioles

    7:05, Camden Yards, Baltimore

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM; 680-AM (Spanish)

    Probable pitchers

    This is a 2017 photo of Matt Andriese of the Tampa Bay Rays baseball team. This image reflects the 2017 active roster as of Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017 when this image was taken. (AP Photo/David Goldman)