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)

Tyler Johnson scratched after re-aggravating injury

TAMPA — Lightning C Tyler Johnson's frustrating, injury-plagued season continues.

Johnson was scratched from Saturday's game against the Capitals and will likely miss an upcoming three-game road trip after re-aggravating an undisclosed injury Thursday against Ottawa, coach Jon Cooper said. Cooper insisted this "isn't a multiple-week thing," but they want to err on the side of caution with the All-Star, who has missed seven of the past 11 games with two injuries.

"We just can't have this back for one, gone for three, back for one, gone for four," Cooper said. "We've got to make sure these guys are ready to go."

Johnson missed three games with an unrelated upper-body injury Nov. 16-21, returned Nov. 25 then had what's believed to be a mid-body injury in the first shift Nov. 27 against the Capitals. Johnson came back quicker than expected Dec. 6 in Los Angeles after missing three games. But Cooper insisted Johnson, who has just four goals in 23 games, didn't come back too soon.

"He was ready," Cooper said. "He's having a tough run in the injury department right now, something he's never had to deal with. This happens to players, it's unfortunate it's happening now, because clearly he's a big piece of our team."

Close call: Another big piece, LW Ondrej Palat, left Saturday's game injured. Palat, in just his second game back after being out since Nov. 7 with a left ankle injury, might have re-aggravated it midway through the first period. Palat hobbled off eight minutes in, heading to the dressing return. He returned for two more shifts in the first, but that was it; he logged just 3 minutes, 34 seconds overall. He's considered day to day.

Next up: RW Mike Blunden was recalled from AHL Syracuse and played Saturday. Blunden was needed, as LW Jonathan Drouin (lower body) was a late scratch, Cooper saying he re-aggravated something. Drouin was in warmups, the team saying his status is to be determined. Blunden, a 6-foot-4, 217-pound forward, played two games with Tampa Bay in a November callup. "He plays a big man's game," Cooper said. Blunden showed that in the first period when he got into a fight with Washington RW Tom Wilson (6-4, 214).

Stepping up: RW J.T. Brown was coming off a season-high seven shots Thursday against Ottawa, when he had his third multi-point game of the season. Cooper said points are a bonus with Brown, a team-high plus-10, believing he has been the team's most consistent player the past couple weeks. "His confidence is way up," Cooper said. "He's actually brought his playoff games to the regular season this year. He's just all over the ice, he's playing all 200 feet, using his speed, the kid has a lot of grit. And the more ice time I'm giving him, he's taking advantage." Brown fought D Nate Schmidt in the second period, "trying to get something going" for the team.

Just like Caps: As the Lightning prepared for the Capitals' potent power play — tied for second in the NHL at 23.9 percent coming in — it also has used them as a guideline in its own unit, assistant coach Steve Thomas said. Thomas points to Washington's poise with the puck and shot-first mentality. "Every team in the league tries to use them as a model for the power play," Thomas said.

Tyler Johnson scratched after re-aggravating injury 12/12/15 [Last modified: Saturday, December 12, 2015 11:34pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. In Twitter rant, Bucs' Gerald McCoy says he's unappreciated

    Bucs

    Gerald McCoy is feeling underappreciated again. He says somebody has crossed the line this time. He's speaking out and suggesting he might be gone "soon enough" from Tampa Bay.

    Photo Illustration RON BORRESEN   |   Photo by LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times 
Gerald McCoy may be upset that Ronde Barber said a defensive leader “has to have a huge personality’’ like Warren Sapp’s. Monday, Barber walked that back.
  2. Rays' Evan Longoria: "We have all the belief in the world in here"

    Blogs

    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.

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

    Blogs

    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.
  4. 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]
  5. Ronde Barber says comments about McCoy 'sensationalized'

    Blogs

    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.