The Tampa Bay Lightning have an unfortunate amount of injuries on their bench right now, all of them with different timetables for return. Some of them are day to day and some of them are more extensive. Let’s take a look at those injuries and see when we may be able to get some of these players back out on the ice.
It was originally assumed that Lightning defenseman Keith Aulie would be able to return to the lineup during the Bolts’ road trip through the Western Conference. Unfortunately, that never came to be. At this point, Aulie has been listed as day-to-day.
Lightning defenseman Radko Gudas, who sustained an Upper Body Injury following an altercation with Anaheim Ducks defenseman Luca Sbisa on Friday, is still listed as day-to-day and will not be in the lineup against the New York Rangers this evening.
Originally, it was thought that Gudas was ok, as he returned to the bench for the second period; however, he was seen on the bench with an ice pack. Apparently, his injury was slightly more involved than that. At this point, it is unknown when exactly he will be returning to the lineup.
As the days pass, it would seem less and less likely that Brian Lee will be returning to the ice this season. So far, he has been on the bench the entire season with a knee injury. Reports have indicated that he has started to do some off-ice rehabbing; however, there is still no timetable for his return.
Ryan Malone will also be out of the lineup tonight against the Rangers. He is listed as day-to-day with a Lower Body Injury, which is clearly an injury to his foot after inadvertently blocking a shot with it against the Ducks on Friday.
Tom Pyatt, who has been sidelined since October 8th against the Buffalo Sabres when he fractured his Collar Bone, has started practicing in a no-contact jersey; however, he is not expected to make his return to the team until after Thanksgiving; which thankfully is right around the corner.
This brings us to Lightning center Steven Stamkos. As most of you have heard already, Stamkos has been making stellar, almost unbelievable, progress in rehabbing his injuries. In his press conference today, Stamkos was walking, yes…walking, around not only without the aid of crutches, but without a cast as well.
While there is no chance of a return for him in the near future, after today’s press conference, there is definitely a renewed since of hope that he will be back this season, and quite possibly in time for him to participate in the Winter Olympics in Sochi.
Right now, a lot of good players are benched due to their injuries. Hopefully in the near future we can get some of those dedicated, hardworking players back out on the ice. Until then, we will have people like Nikita Kucherov, who will be making his Lighting debut tonight against the Rangers, and Dmitry Korobov who has been recalled from the Syracuse Crunch as well.
Other than Stamkos, who would you like to see return to the Lightning bench first? Do you think we will finally start to see some of these guys come back after the holiday break? Sound off in the comments below and let us know what you think.