Steven Stamkos isn’t close to being ready to rejoining the Tampa Bay Lightning, but he’s making clear signs of progress.
A little over a month after suffering a broken right tibia, he was back on the ice and working on his stickhandling:
He’s going to participate in both on and off-ice exercises with Gary Roberts over Christmas with an eye of practicing by the end of January and returning to the Lightning’s lineup during the first week of February, according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie.
That assessment meshes with previous reports that he’s eyeing a Feb. 6 return. If that proves to be the case, then he might still play in the 2014 Winter Olympics.
Meanwhile the Tampa Bay Lightning are trying to get by without their superstar. They’ve been mediocre lately, but still have a seven-point hold on their playoff spot.
Mike Babcock’s reign with the Detroit Red Wings ended in another first-round defeat, yet it may be lost in time just how close that series was.
Yes, the Tampa Bay Lightning shut down the Red Wings to win Game 7 at home, but Ben Bishop deserves a ton of the credit. The Red Wings snagged the puck for much of the contest, just not enough to beat the big goalie.
While change is in the air in Detroit, the Bolts are largely the same squad that generated a nice showing in the 2015 Stanley Cup Final. We’ll get to see if the Red Wings gain a measure of revenge on NBCSN tonight, with home-ice advantage this time around.
Damon Severson was a healthy scratch on Saturday.
It’s the last game he wants to miss this season.
“I had a good chat with a few people and just pretty much said, ‘I want to be in the next 80 games,’” Severson said, per The Record. “I sat out my game and that’s all I want to be out for for the year.”
Severson is one of the Devils’ most important young players. But this is also the 21-year-old defenseman’s sophomore season, and that’s when slumps can occur.
Hence, the early message he was sent by the coaching staff.
Severson is expected to be back in the lineup tonight when New Jersey hosts Nashville.
“He doesn’t have to be perfect,” coach John Hynes told reporters. “We’d just like to see him have a high compete level. We know he’s ready to go. We had a couple of good meetings with him. He’s in a good spot mentally. I know he’s ready to roll.”