At this point, NHL teams are becoming less and less forthcoming with injury updates … and this is compared to the “upper-body” and “lower-body” vagueness of most regular season news. It’s not too surprising that he Tampa Bay Lightning provided next to no details about the condition of forward Ondrej Palat, then.
Palat, 23, sat out the Lightning’s regular season finale with an upper-body injury and didn’t log any ice time in the third period or overtime of Game 1 on Wednesday. It’s possible he was injured thanks to a collision with Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban tonight, making it unclear if he re-aggravated that upper-body issue or if this is a different aliment altogether.
All Lightning head coach Jon Cooper said was that he feels sorry for the winger.
One of the silver linings of the Lightning’s turbulent season with injuries and other distractions is that young players like Palat have received opportunities to shine. He did just that, scoring 23 goals and 59 points with a +32 rating in 81 games this season, yet that breakthrough could make his absence that much more glaring.