Jon Cooper is hopeful that Stamkos will be ready before the end of regular season to make a push for the playoffs.
Earlier this week the Tampa Bay Lightning announced that they placed Steven Stamkos on LTIR. The Lightning captain hasn’t played since April 8, when he left ice after a non-contact play during the third period of the game against the Columbus Blue Jackets. The decision was applied retroactively from April 9, meaning that Stamkos should be out at least for 10 games, 24 days since that day, so the earliest possible date of his return is May 5 when the Lightning are playing against the Dallas Stars.
With this, Stamkos will have to remain on LTIR for 24 calendar days and 10 games. The 24 days would be up on May 3rd and is more than 10 games at that point. That would mean that Stamkos, if healthy, could play in the last four games of the regular season. https://t.co/Op7xG2DjEB
— GeoFitz (@GeoFitz4) April 16, 2021
The Lightning didn’t share any specifics of Stamkos’ injury until yesterday and the main concern was whether this injury is related to his core muscle surgeries, which he underwent twice last year. The first surgery was performed about a year ago, in early March of 2020. The rehabilitation took about eight weeks and Stamkos was expected to join the Lightning training camp before the 24-team playoff tournament in Edmonton and Toronto, but suffered a leg injury, ending up playing just 2:47 in the first period of Game 3 of the Stanley Cup final. In October Stamkos underwent his second surgery to repair core muscles and was able to recover before the training camp started in January. This season he played in 38 of 40 games until being placed on LTIR, missing two games in February due to a lower-body injury.
The Lightning declared that his recent injury isn’t related to last year’s surgeries. Jon Cooper is very optimistic that Stamkos will be able to return before end of the regular season and will be fully healthy when the playoffs will start [NHL.com]
We’re extremely optimistic after he comes off the required time amount he’ll be in really good shape to continue playing for us,” Cooper said. “That’s about all I can say. We’ll see how he rests and body mends a little bit. Hopefully, he’ll be back on the ice in a week to 10 days and get him back going again and make a push at the end for the playoffs.”
Apart from Steven Stamkos, the Lightning currently have two other regular players on long-term injured reserve – Nikita Kucherov and Jan Rutta. Kucherov hasn’t played this season due to recovering from hip surgery that he underwent in last December, and is expected to return for the postseason. Jan Rutta sustained a lower-body injury at the end of the March, but the team is hopeful that he will return at the end of the regular season.
The Tampa Bay Lightning suffered a loss against the Florida Panthers, after allowing three goals during the first period on Saturday night. The season series between two teams is tied at 3-3 now [Raw Charge]
It wasn’t a bad game for the Lightning, just a bit of an unfortunate one. It was also a case of Florida converting their opportunities while Tampa Bay didn’t. At even strength the Bolts had 25 scoring chances and 9 of those were of the high-danger variety. That’s not a bad night’s work. They just struggled to finish off those chances whereas the Panthers were a bit more efficient.
In his postgame interview, Jon Cooper admitted that the team made some mistakes, but overall played better than in a overtime win on Thursday.
Jon Cooper talks about the @TBLightning 1st period, the good things that happened, what the team wants to improve on and more after the 5-3 loss to Florida.
— Bally Sports Florida & Bally Sports Sun (@BallySportsFL) April 18, 2021
Alex Barre-Boulet recorded his first point in the NHL.
With the primary assist on Point’s goal, Alex Barre-Boulet recorded his first NHL point!
Congrats, BB pic.twitter.com/C9RVx8G9Uj
— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) April 18, 2021
The Syracuse Crunch earned a 4-1 victory against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins yesterday. Defenceman Otto Somppi recorded a four-point night
And that wraps up our season series with the Penguins. #WBSvsSYR
— Syracuse Crunch (@SyracuseCrunch) April 18, 2021
Boris Katchouk scored a beautiful goal, while skating just on one skate.
OKAY, BORIS. BORIS, OKAY. pic.twitter.com/ysRwGxq9On
— Syracuse Crunch (@SyracuseCrunch) April 18, 2021
The Lightning’s third-round pick from the 2020 NHL Entry Draft Jack Thompson joined the Syracuse Crunch on an amateur tryout contract. Previously this season he played on a loan for Surahammars IF of HockeyEttan (the third tier league in Sweden) and recorded 18 points (9+9) in 18 games.
— Syracuse Crunch (@SyracuseCrunch) April 17, 2021
in other Central Division games on Saturday, the Carolina Hurricanes defeated the Nashville Predators 3-1, the Chicago Blackhawks shutdown the Detroit Red Wings 4-0 and the Columbus Blue Jackets lost to the Dallas Stars 1-5. With less than one month before the end of the regular season, the Hurricanes solely lead the division and the Predators occupy the last playoff spot.
The Buffalo Sabres have been eliminated from playoff contention for the 2020-2021 season. They are the first team to be eliminated this season.
— Micah Blake McCurdy (@IneffectiveMath) April 17, 2021
Patrick Marleau has officially tied with Gordie Howe for the most games played in the NHL history.
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) April 18, 2021