Friday, January 19, 2018
Tampa Bay Lightning

Tampa Bay Lightning's Marty St. Louis still has blurry vision

TAMPA — By switching Thursday from a cage to a visor, Lightning W Marty St. Louis took a step forward in his recovery from facial fractures sustained Dec. 8 when he was hit with a puck during a morning skate.

But coach Guy Boucher said St. Louis still has blurry vision in his left eye, which filled with blood when hit by the puck. Boucher also indicated the condition might be permanent.

"It's been tough for him to find out the inside of his eye might stay the way it is now and the fact that he doesn't have the same vision, which is his No. 1 asset," Boucher said. "It has annoyed him."

St. Louis declined to comment on his eye or that he is wearing a visor for the first time in his NHL career. But head athletic trainer Tommy Mulligan cautioned it is too early to say if St. Louis' blurred vision is permanent.

St. Louis, 36, has worn contacts on the ice for a while, and the prescription for the left eye has been updated to accommodate the injury, Mulligan said.

"So at this point, it really is a nonissue as far as his play," Mulligan said. "His on-ice vision is great."

His production hasn't suffered as St. Louis has a goal and 11 points over the 10 games he has played since missing five because of the injury.

Still, Boucher said, getting rid of the full-face cage has to make things easier.

"His eye and his cage and all that really made him feel that he wasn't at his best," Boucher said. "He felt caged in, obviously. He had trouble seeing the puck at the bottom of the cage, so it made him a bit nervous. It's been tough for him to figure out how he's going to deal with that."

MORE ST. LOUIS: St. Louis was mum on if he will keep the visor when cleared to take it off, but Boucher said he believes St. Louis, who always has resisted wearing a visor, will stick with it.

"When you don't live anything that dangerous, you feel invincible and things won't happen to you," Boucher said. "But when you actually live it yourself and you're scared to lose your sight, it does have an effect on your decisions.

"I would like him to keep it. I always wanted him to have one."

MEDICAL MATTERS: W Ryan Shannon (knee) said he would like to resume playing before the Jan. 25-29 All-Star break. … RW J.T. Wyman (pinky) saw a doctor Thursday and said his recovery will take "a little longer."

KILLING TIME: The Lightning was 4-for-4 on the penalty kill Tuesday against the Canucks, who have the league's top power play, and allowed three shots.

"We worked very hard on preventing easy zone entries," Boucher said. "We wanted to make sure they didn't get a lot of set-up time."

The same strategy was in place against Carolina, which entered on a 7-for-17 streak on the power play. The Lightning killed its only shorthanded situation while allowing two shots.

ODDS AND ENDS: D Eric Brewer played his 800th game and RW Dana Tyrell his 100th. … LW Pierre-Cedric Labrie was scratched as Boucher went with seven defensemen. … Carolina's Jay Harrison had a Gordie Howe hat trick: a goal, assist and a fight (with Ryan Malone).

Comments
Lightning falls to Golden Knights

Lightning falls to Golden Knights

TAMPA — The door to the Lightning dressing room remained closed a little longer than usual Thursday night, and that wasn’t surprising.After the kind of performance displayed in its 4-1 loss to the expansion Golden Knights, this had players-only meeti...
Updated: 10 minutes ago
Lightning journal: Cory Conacher ready to take advantage of J.T. Brown’s departure

Lightning journal: Cory Conacher ready to take advantage of J.T. Brown’s departure

TAMPA — The loss of wing J.T. Brown to Anaheim will be a gain for some Lightning forwards in terms of ice time. Whether those players are currently with the team or still at AHL Syracuse has yet to be determined.For now, C Cory Conacher will try to t...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Joe Smith’s takeaways from Thursday’s Lightning-Golden Knights game

Thought the bye week was a much-needed break for Andrei Vasilevskiy. And though you can’t pin Thursday’s loss on the goalie, he still gave up at least four goals for the fourth straight start (19 overall). Tampa Bay is used to Vasilevskiy’s brillianc...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Jonathan Marchessault on Lightning: ‘It started here’

Jonathan Marchessault on Lightning: ‘It started here’

Life is good for Jonathan Marchessault.The former Lightning forward is thriving for the expansion Vegas Golden Knights, which recently signed the undrafted forward to a six-year, $30 million deal. Marchessault's wife is expecting their third child, a...
Published: 01/18/18
Lightning’s Cory Conacher hopes ‘simple’ leads to more ice time

Lightning’s Cory Conacher hopes ‘simple’ leads to more ice time

The loss of wing J.T. Brown to Anaheim will be a gain for some Lightning forwards in terms of ice time. Whether that player is currently with the team or still at AHL Syracuse has yet to be determined.Center Cory Conacher, a healthy scratch in the Li...
Published: 01/18/18
‘Piratically speaking,’ NHL thrilled to don Gasparilla garb for All-Star Game

‘Piratically speaking,’ NHL thrilled to don Gasparilla garb for All-Star Game

TAMPA — Jose Gaspar, mythical pirate, meet Lord Stanley of Preston. Hang out, get to know one another, have as much fun as possible during the wrinkle in time that makes possible what will likely be a one-time-only encounter. Next weekend, th...
Published: 01/18/18
With Victor Hedman out, Lightning’s Slater Koekkoek finally gets chance to prove himself

With Victor Hedman out, Lightning’s Slater Koekkoek finally gets chance to prove himself

TAMPA — When it comes to replacing its top defenseman, the Lightning realizes that’s not possible."Let’s be honest," coach Jon Cooper said. "Nobody in that room is Victor Hedman."But with Hedman out three to six weeks with a lower-body injury, it mea...
Published: 01/17/18
Updated: 01/18/18
Vegas-Lightning, of all things, is the biggest show in town

Vegas-Lightning, of all things, is the biggest show in town

TAMPA — It's Vegas night.Who would have thought we would have been circling this one on the schedule before the NHL season began?Vegas Golden Knights and Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena.We've circled it just the same.It's Vegas night.Any wa...
Published: 01/17/18
Could Mikhail Sergachev replace Hedman on All-Star team?

Could Mikhail Sergachev replace Hedman on All-Star team?

With Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman out 3-6 weeks with a lower body injury, he has to get replaced on the Atlantic Division team. There are plenty of strong candidates to fill the void, including the Maple Leafs' Morgan Rielly and Boston rookie C...
Published: 01/17/18
Rick and Tom podcast: Can the Lightning keep up this pace?

Rick and Tom podcast: Can the Lightning keep up this pace?

In their latest podcast, Tom Jones sits down with Joe Smith to catch up on the Lightning through 44 games as it gets set to come back from the bye week. Will the Lightning be looking to add pieces at the trade deadline, who might it have to give up,...
Published: 01/17/18