James O'Brien

Lightning seem optimistic about Tyler Johnson, who is day-to-day

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By no means is this a guarantee that Tyler Johnson will play in Game 1 for the Tampa Bay Lightning against the Detroit Red Wings, yet considered how scary his fall looked last night, it’s a great sign that there’s even a discussion.

The company line is that Johnson is day-to-day with an upper-body injury.

This comes after relatively good news that Johnson traveled with the team after Saturday’s glum loss against the Montreal Canadiens (rather than staying in the hospital for observation).

Feel free to parse this update for specific phrasing to feel better or worse about the situation:

The Lightning start their intriguing series against the Red Wings on Wednesday. Their next practice is on Monday, so we’ll see if Johnson is able to participate.

(Now, if he can’t, that obviously doesn’t exclude him from playing, anyway.)

Related: No supplemental discipline for Greg Pateryn, who delivered the hit.

Sounds like Zach Parise isn’t a lock to play Game 1 for Wild

Minnesota Wild's Zach Parise (11) tries to take a shot on goal against Detroit Red Wings' Jimmy Howard (35) during the first period of an NHL hockey game Friday, April 1, 2016, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)
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Zach Parise‘s cloudy situation is labeled “day-to-day,” and there’s some worry that it will mean enough days that he might not be able to play when the Minnesota Wild kick off their first-round series against the Dallas Stars.

That’s the worry-packed word from an interesting story by the Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s Michael Russo, who wonders if Parise is dealing with “something new” instead of an earlier noted upper-body injury.

Chris Porter said Parise “has been mum about it to everybody. It’s obviously bad. We were all joking that he’s a superstitious guy and scoring three on Backy (Niklas Backstrom) last time, you know it has to be something if he’s going to miss a game against a goalie he scored three against a few weeks ago.”

Yikes.

We already know that Thomas Vanek is unlikely to be good to go to start. Russo notes that red-hot forward Erik Haula is banged up, too.

When people spoke of the Wild “limping” into the playoffs, it felt like it was a figurative thing, noting that they’ve lost five in a row. It might be more literal than expected, however, if Parise and Haula join Vanek on the sidelines.

Capitals are coy about Holtby, Ducks rest Kesler and Gibson

Anaheim Ducks center Ryan Kesler congratulates goalie John Gibson after Gibson shutout the Vancouver Canucks in the Ducks' 4-0 victory in a NHL hockey game Monday, Nov. 30, 2015, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)
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The end of the regular season presents interesting questions for coaches, including those who already have playoff spots clinched.

In the case of Bruce Boudreau, he must weigh the health of players versus the drive to win the Pacific Division.

Barry Trotz has an unusual conundrum in having little to gain, aside from his goalie possibly standing alone as the goalie with the most wins in a single season.

So far, we don’t know if Trotz will roll out Braden Holtby in an attempt to win a 49th game against the hungry Anaheim Ducks:

Sometimes this stuff is obvious, like when a player is dealing with some ailments. Boudreau’s letting goalie John Gibson and Ryan Kesler rest …

… While other important players like Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry might go tonight:

Don’t worry about the Ducks tanking one way or another, however, according to the OC Register’s Eric Stephens.

Sometimes these decisions come late, especially with players like Alex Ovechkin (guys who love to play but accrue significant mileage). There might be some game-time decisions, yet we know at least Kesler and Gibson won’t go on Sunday.

Fight videos: Doan vs. Polak, Namestnikov vs. Byron

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Saturday was a busy night full of milestone moments and battles for playoff positioning.

It’s the kind of evening where scuffles might get lost in the shuffle, but this post is designed to allow those who are into fights to get their fill.

Up above, you can see a fight between Vladislav Namestnikov and Paul Byron during the Tampa Bay Lightning’s fairly disastrous loss to the Montreal Canadiens.

Down below, enjoy a fight between Arizona Coyotes captain Shane Doan and Roman Polak of the San Jose Sharks:

Need more? Scroll through Hockey Fights’ logs.

The hit that hurt Tyler Johnson made Lightning furious, won’t draw suspension

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The Tampa Bay Lightning either don’t know or haven’t shared an update on Tyler Johnson after he was helped off the ice following a hit by Greg Pateryn of the Montreal Canadiens.

What we do know is that the check left Lightning head coach Jon Cooper furious … but it sounds like that’s all that will come of it.

Pateryn racked up 15 penalty minutes for that check, yet there won’t be any supplemental discipline for the infraction, which you can watch in the video above. That comes from TVA’s Renaud Lavoie.

Again, Cooper wasn’t happy:

And the updates seemed less-than-ideal, although Johnson reportedly traveled with the team.

Perhaps the league might have also been a little more likely to hand out a suspension if the Canadiens’ season wasn’t already over?

That’s for people to speculate, although chances are that the Lightning may remember this moment. Especially if Johnson misses some playoff games.