The Tampa Bay Lightning certainly has a lot of their firepower sidelined with injuries right now. Fortunately, it looks like we may be getting at least one of them back tonight. Lightning center Valtteri Filppula could possibly be making his return to the lineup tonight as the Bolts head into the Scottrade Center to take on the newly acquired Steve Ott and the St. Louis Blues.
As most of you are already painfully aware, the 29 year old Vantaa, Finland native has been on the bench since February 6th, right before the Olympic Break, when he suffered a non-displaced ankle fracture in his right ankle as the Lightning took on the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Now, there is no guarantee that Filppula will play tonight, as Lightning Head Coach Jon Cooper said after practice this morning that Filppula and the also injured Tyler Johnson would be game time decisions today. However, Filppula did skate in practice this morning in a normal jersey. Filppula did say that he was good to go, which is a very good thing indicator.
Filppula says he’s good to go tonight for #TBLightning
— Erik Erlendsson (@erlendssonTBO) March 4, 2014
So far this season, Filppula has scored 20 goals and 21 assists for a total of 41 points to go along with his plus-2 rating. This puts him in second place on the team, only bested by the captain, Martin St. Louis, who has 60 points.
Filppula is one of those all-around solid players that you never want to be without. Not only can he score goals, he is strong in the faceoff circle and in the shootout as well. It is rare that you find a combination like him, but thankfully, we can say that not only is he all ours, but he is almost back.
Do you think Filppula will ultimately end up in tonight’s lineup against the Blues? If so, what impact will he have on the game? Let us know what you think in the comments below.