Weird dynamic at play ahead of the Lighting-Islanders second-round series.
Back on Mar. 25, Bolts blueliner Anton Stralman suffered a broken fibula after getting tied up with Isles forward Anders Lee — an injury that forced Stralman to miss the end of the regular season and all of Tampa’s opening-round win against Detroit.
Now, there’s hope Stralman will be back to face the Isles… while Lee remains out with a broken fibula of his own.
“He’s not skating right now,” Bolts head coach Jon Cooper said of Stralman, per the Tampa Tribune. “But we are hopeful that he will make an appearance this series.”
A 22-minutes-per-night guy that’s among the Bolts’ best possession d-men, Stralman is a valuable right-handed shot, on a blueline that doesn’t have many.
It’s why the club has been anxious to get him back in the mix, though it should be noted neither the club nor Stralman put a timeline on his return.
Traditionally, the recovery window is 4-6 weeks. Stralman’s in Week 5.
As for the other injured Bolts?
Captain Steve Stamkos remains out after undergoing vascular surgery in March. His recovery window was pretty large — 1-3 months — so it’s unclear when he’ll be back this spring, if at all.
J.T. Brown, who suffered a series-ending injury in Game 2 versus Detroit, remains out indefinitely. According to the Tribune, Copper sounded “less optimistic” that Brown would be able to play in the Isles series.