We may not know for sure if Tyler Johnson is hurt or not until after the Stanley Cup Final (if at all), but he’s playing for the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 2 against the Chicago Blackhawks.
As expected, Jonathan Drouin makes his championship round debut, as he replaced defenseman Nikita Nesterov.
The Lightning are shifting to a traditional 12-forward, six-defensemen setup. They lost Game 1 with an extra blueliner and one fewer forward, yet they’ve enjoyed some success with that alignment overall in the postseason.
Drouin has been largely ineffective in his sporadic postseason appearances, drawing some ire from head coach Jon Cooper for perceived lacking defense.
To be fair to the 20-year-old, he hasn’t gotten a ton of chances to put up big numbers. Here’s his time on ice per contest:
Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final: zero points, -1 rating, three shots on goal, 14:56 TOI
Game 3 of ECF: zero points, -1, zero SOG, 9:54 TOI
Game 4 of first round (vs. Detroit): zero points, -2, one SOG, 8:42 TOI
With 32 points in 70 regular season games, Drouin has shown some ability to generate points at the NHL level, but it would help if he could gain Cooper’s trust.
Whatever the case may be, Cooper wants more from his depth forwards: