Tag: Jason Garrison

Jason Garrison

Garrison returns, Drouin makes playoff debut in Lightning Game 4 tweaks

After getting shutout by Detroit in Game 3 on Tuesday, the Tampa Bay Lightning are entering Thursday’s contest with a bit of a different look.

Defenseman Jason Garrison is ready to return from an upper-body injury that’s kept him on the sidelines for nearly a month now. He had four goals and 30 points in 70 contests with the Lightning this season. He’ll probably be paired up with Braydon Coburn. Rather than scratch a blueliner to make room with him, the Lightning are dressing seven defensemen.

Rookie Jonathan Drouin is also being inserted into the lineup for what will be his career playoffs debut. The 20-year-old had four goals and 32 points in 70 contests during the regular season.

He’ll likely play alongside J.T. Brown and Brian Boyle on the fourth line. To make room, 36-year-old Brenden Morrow has been taken out of the lineup. The veteran of 991 regular season contests and an additional 97 playoff games was limited to eight points in 2014-15.

Coburn in, Drouin likely out for Bolts in opener versus Wings

Jonathan Drouin

Braydon Coburn will return from injury for the Lightning in Game 1 against Detroit tonight, but prized rookie Jonathan Drouin looks as though he’ll be dropped from the lineup.

Those were two of the big developments out of Tampa Bay this morning. Coburn, sidelined since Mar. 10 with a lower-body ailment, will play just his fifth game in a Bolts uniform after being acquired from Philly at the Mar. 2 trade deadline, an important returnee for a blueline that’s missing Jason Garrison.

For Drouin, the news is less positive.

With a wealth of talent up front and all forwards healthy, Bolts head coach Jon Cooper will sit the 20-year-old in what would be his first-ever Stanley Cup playoff game. Cooper will opt to roll with an “energy” unit as his fourth line — Brenden Morrow, Brian Boyle and J.T. Brown — and apparently doesn’t want to insert Drouin in the top three lines at the risk of disrupting chemistry:

Alex Killorn-Steven Stamkos-Ryan Callahan

Ondrej Palat-Tyler Johnson-Nikita Kucherov

Vladislav Namestnikov-Valtteri Filppula-Cedric Paquette

That said, it’s highly likely we see Drouin at some point in the playoffs given how much he played during the regular season. The third overall pick at the ’13 Draft appeared in 70 games and racked up 32 points, averaging over 13 minutes per night.

Playoff infirmary report: Who’s hurt, who’s coming back?


Patrick Kane, Chicago (broken clavicle)

Originally thought to be out for 12 weeks, Kane cut his recovery time nearly in half and will suit up for Game 1 of Chicago’s series against Nashville. Kane hasn’t played since Feb. 24 but was lighting it up — as per usual — prior to getting hurt, with 64 points in 61 games.

Mark Giordano, Calgary (torn biceps)

There was some optimism earlier in the week when the Flames captain resumed skating and told reporters “I feel like hopefully the rehab is going better than expected.” That said, the injury and subsequent surgery came with a 4-5 month recovery period, so any possible Giordano comeback would come in much later playoff rounds.

Max Pacioretty, Montreal (upper-body)

Pacioretty, Montreal’s leading goalscorer with 37, has been out since getting knocked into the boards versus Florida in the third-final game of the season. He’s been ruled out of Game 1 against Ottawa and Habs head coach Michel Therrien is playing it coy about a potential return date.

Kris Letang, Pittsburgh (concussion)

Letang is unlikely to return this season following a hit from Arizona captain Shane Doan in late March.

Christian Ehrhoff, Pittsburgh (concussion)

Though he’s been cleared for contact, the Pens d-man won’t be available for Game 1. Neither will fellow blueliner Derrick Pouliot.

Travis Hamonic, New York Islanders (undisclosed)

Details on the d-man’s health are far and few between. Will the Isles say what his injury is? No. Have they given a timetable for return? No. All we really know is that Hamonic hasn’t been on the ice at all since taking a hipcheck from Pittsburgh’s Rob Scuderi last Friday, and his status is uncertain.

Kevin Klein, New York Rangers (broken arm)

Out since mid-March, the Rangers blueliner was originally expected to be ready for the playoffs — but now it sounds like his Game 1 status is in question. Klein also didn’t practice on Wednesday, casting further doubt on his ability to suit up for the opener against Pittsburgh.

Jason Garrison, Tampa Bay (upper-body)

When the Bolts d-man was hurt in late March, the club put a 3-4 week timetable on his return. As such, Garrison likely won’t be available for the early parts of the Detroit series; that said, the Lightning did get some good news as fellow blueliners Braydon Coburn and Andrej Sustr looked as though they’d be back in.

Mike Fisher, Nashville (lower-body)

The veteran Preds center missed the final two games of the year, but will draw in for Game 1 against Chicago.

John Gibson, Anaheim (upper-body)

After picking up a knock in practice, Gibson didn’t skate on Wednesday — which points to Frederik Andersen getting the start for Anaheim in Game 1 of its series against the Jets. At this point, it’s worth monitoring this situation to see if Gibson is even healthy enough to back up, as the Ducks have recalled veteran Jason LaBarbera from AHL Norfolk.

Mathieu Perreault, Winnipeg (lower body)

Injured in last Thursday’s shootout loss to Colorado, Perreault hasn’t been practicing or skating but, per Jets head coach Paul Maurice, he is getting better.

“We don’t want to turn it into a bigger problem than it is,” Maurice said, per the Free Press. “He’ll get back out on the ice. He may play based on how he feels after he skates. I expect him to go sooner rather than later.”

Justin Abdelkader, Detroit (hand)

Injured blocking a shot late in the season, Abdelkader is listed as questionable for Game 1 against Tampa Bay. His official status will be announced following the morning skate.

Linden on returning the Canucks to the playoffs: ‘It’s been a good year’

Trevor Linden

The goal for the Vancouver Canucks was to return to the playoffs.

Last night, that goal was achieved. The Canucks clinched their spot when the Kings lost in Edmonton.

It begs the question — after all that went wrong last season — how did they do it?

“It started with just trying to have a plan going into it,” said Trevor Linden, the club’s first-year president of hockey operations, on TSN 1040 radio (audio).

Linden, hired a year ago tomorrow, went on to hire Jim Benning as the team’s new general manager, who went on to hire Willie Desjardins as the new head coach.

“Bringing Jim in really shaped the vision for this organization,” said Linden, referencing the numerous roster decisions that were made in the wake of last season’s disastrous campaign, from trading Ryan Kesler and Jason Garrison, to bringing in Ryan Miller, Nick Bonino, and Derek Dorsett.

“And then of course, Willie has done an amazing job,” Linden added, noting the bounce-back seasons being enjoyed by the Sedins, Alex Edler, Alex Burrows, and Jannik Hansen, “these guys that were kind of lost last year.”

“It’s been a good year,” said Linden. “We’ve accomplished the goal we set out. Now it’s about making some noise here in the playoffs, and we look forward to that.

“Having said all that, we also recognize it’s one year. We’ve got a lot of work to do, we know that, and we’re prepared for that.”

That last remark is key. Because the Canucks, despite making the playoffs, remain long shots to win the Stanley Cup. They still need to keep restocking for the future — in particular, their blue line, which has looked old and slow at times. Currently, there’s no blue-chip defensive prospect in the system.

But that’s a topic for the offseason.

“It’s so satisfying to set a goal for this team to get us back to the playoffs,” said Linden.

“The easy way out is to just strip it down and blow it up and start over and draft in the top five every year. We’re not going to do that. We’re going to continue to build this team and be a playoff contender every year.”

Sounds like Bolts will get Hedman, Coburn back for playoffs

Tampa Bay Lightning v Montreal Canadiens

In last week’s PHT Extra we mentioned the beleaguered state of Tampa Bay’s defense, which had seen the likes of Victor Hedman, Braydon Coburn, Jason Garrison and Andrej Sustr all go down to injury.

Today, the Lightning received some good news on that front:

Coburn’s been out since Mar. 10 with a lower-body injury while Hedman’s missed the last three games with a lower-body ailment as well (Sustr’s been out since Mar. 28). The Bolts also got decent news on Garrison, who was ruled out 3-4 weeks on Mar. 30 but skated before practice this morning.

All of this bodes well for the Lightning, who’ve been operating with a patchwork defense lately — not coincidentally, they’ve lost four of their last six.

Case in point: During Saturday’s 4-0 win over Florida, the club rolled with a six-man unit of Anton Stralman, Matt Carle, Nikita Nesterov, Luke Witkowski, Mark Barberio and Slater Koekkoek; Nesterov played 20-plus minutes for just the second time in his career and Koekkoek played just over 16 in his third-ever NHL contest.

The Bolts can still mathematically catch Montreal for top spot in the Atlantic Division but, trailing by two points with two games left, are probably going to finish second and face either Boston or Detroit in the opening playoff round. If the likes of Hedman, Coburn and Sustr are ready for Game 1, it’s going to make life a lot more difficult for the Bruins or Red Wings.