There have been rumblings of a team-wide bug going through the Lightning over the last few days — Braydon Coburn, um, refunded during Game 5 and there were whispers of The Triplets falling ill — but for the most part, the team had stayed mum.
On Wednesday, though, forward Alex Killorn all but made it official during a media conference call.
“It’s tough,” Killorn said. “We had a few guys under the weather. Not that that’s any excuse. Most of the guys have been ready for games. Today is going to be huge, not only for injured guys, but guys feeling kind of sick.
“We’re going to use those kind of days to get healthy. We’re not going to use that as an excuse.”
Today, of course, is the first of two off prior to Friday’s Game 7 versus the Rangers at MSG. The scheduling quirk could definitely prove useful for a Tampa Bay team that looked flat and disjointed in the third period of Tuesday’s 7-3 home loss; the Lightning went into the final frame down just 2-1 but proceeded to surrender four goals in a span of 7:19, blowing their chance to advance to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in 11 years.
This is the first two-day break of the series. Last round, Tampa had a two-day break between Games 5 and 6 and proceeded to eliminate Montreal in the latter.
As for the club’s health, Lightning coach Jon Cooper danced around questions regarding it hinting that while players might be dealing with some sort of flu bug, we’d have to wait until the playoffs were over to get the full story.
“Maybe after it’s all said and done, more things will come out what happened in our room,” Cooper said. “We’re putting the best lineup we can possible.”