Can’t blame Tampa Bay head coach Guy Boucher for being exasperated right now. Upon learning LW Ryan Malone suffered a lower-body injury (which kept him out of Tuesday’s game against Toronto and, apparently, tomorrow night’s game against Ottawa as well), the fiery bench boss all but threw up his hands.
“Again with the injuries,” Boucher told the Tampa Tribune. “Happy New Year! It’s been that way since Day One this year, so we are not going to cry about it. We are going to move forward and continue to find ways like we’ve been doing.”
Malone was injured during Monday’s practice on what appeared to be an innocuous collision with Nate Thompson. So innocuous, in fact, that Thompson didn’t realize his teammate was hurt.
“We had a collision, but I’m not sure what is going on,” Thompson said after learning Malone was being held out against Toronto. “This was the first I had heard about it, too.”
The Malone incident is the latest in what’s been an injury-ravaged season for the Bolts. Mattias Ohlund (knees) hasn’t played a single game this year and Victor Hedman is out indefinitely with a concussion. Ryan Shannon is expected to miss another two weeks with a knee sprain (he’s been out since Dec. 21) while Martin St. Louis, Pavel Kubina and Steve Downie have combined to miss 11 contests.
It’s all added up to an extremely disappointing season. The Lightning were within a game of the Stanley Cup Final a year ago but, heading into tonight’s action, sit 12th in the Eastern Conference, seven points back of eighth-place New Jersey.
It’s been getting that spotlight since the Columbus Blue Jackets faced off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a brisk playoff series, though it wouldn’t be surprising if the bad blood stemmed to Dubinsky’s days with New York.
To some, Dubinsky’s cross-check on Crosby will resonate far more than the end result of this game:
The bottom line is that he’ll get the last laugh, at least for now. (In-game, that moment merely drew a minor penalty.)
That’s because Dubinsky set up the overtime game-winner, and the cherry on the top of that spite sundae came with Crosby being on the ice when it happened:
They’re not just rubbing the Penguins the wrong way.
Cheap shot on a superstar, a little uncalled goalie interference and presto – Blue Jackets win!
The Buffalo Sabres probably deserved better during at least some chunks of their six-game skid, yet Jack Eichel swooped in on Friday to remind fans that there’s a light shining at the end of the tunnel.
You can watch his goal from tonight’s eventual 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes in the video above.
That’s not necessarily the absolute height of his on-ice magic, yet it clearly gave his team a lift:
Coach Bylsma: Feel like after Jack's goal, the game changed for us. #gamechanger