Yesterday, things were going well for the Lightning. They returned Nikita Kucherov and Ondrej Palat from injuries and opened a five-game homestand with a win over Montreal.
Then, today happened.
The Bolts announced a trio of injuries on Thursday, the biggest being rookie Brayden Point‘s upper-body ailment, which will sideline him for the next 4-6 weeks.
Point, one of just six Bolts to play in all 36 games this year, is a pretty big loss. The rookie forward has been a pleasant surprise, sitting fourth on the team with 12 assists, and is averaging nearly 16 minutes per night.
Injuries, as alluded to in the headline, have been a major issue in Tampa Bay. Steve Stamkos is the most notable — his knee surgery led to Point moving to center, a position switch Cooper was eager to see — but others have been banged up as well.
In related moves today, the Bolts recalled Erik Condra and Yanni Gourde from AHL Syracuse. Gourde could be in line for his season debut, joining the likes of Matthew Peca, Michael Bournival, Tanner Richard, Joel Vermin and Luke Witkowski as farmhands to log minutes for the Bolts this season.