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)

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

  1. For starters: Rays at Twins, with Cobb pitching with a purpose


    UPDATE, 11:06: Here is the Rays lineup, with Sucre catching and Martinez at 2b:

  2. St. Petersburg's Sebastien Bourdais vows to return for IndyCar finale

    Auto racing

    INDIANAPOLIS — Sebastien Bourdais was in one of the best race cars he'd ever had, so fast that most of his competitors thought he would win the pole for the Indianapolis 500.

    Sebastien Bourdais does physical therapy at the Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana in Indianapolis. Bourdais broke his pelvis, hip and two ribs in an accident during qualifying for the Indianapolis 500 on May 20. He plans to return home to St. Petersburg soon to continue therapy. [Associated Press]
  3. Yellow cards stall Rowdies offense in tie with St. Louis


    ST. PETERSBURG — It's not the result they wanted, but it certainly could have been worse. Neill Collins' 87th-minute header off a corner kick was the reward the Rowdies settled for Saturday night during a 1-1 draw with St. Louis before an announced 6,068 at Al Lang Stadium.

  4. Calvary Christian routs Pensacola Catholic to win state baseball title


    FORT MYERS — Calvary Christian left no doubt as to which baseball team in Class 4A was the best in Florida this season. The Warriors defeated Pensacola Catholic 11-1 in six innings Saturday night at Hammond Stadium to claim the school's first state championship in any team sport. It also solidified a 30-0 season. …

    Matheu Nelson celebrates after scoring on a wild pitch during the first inning, when Calvary Christian took a 6-0 lead.
  5. Numerous lapses add up to frustrating Rays loss to Twins

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — While the Rays made some good defensive plays, threw a couple of big pitches when they needed to and got a few, and just a few, key hits, there were some obvious things they did wrong that led to them losing Saturday's game to the Twins 5-3:

    Rays reliever Tommy Hunter says the Twins’ tiebreaking homer came on a pitch that was “close to where I wanted it.”