Tampa Bay Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov has been listed as Day-To-Day with an Upper-Body Injury after colliding with the boards on Thursday night.
The Tampa Bay Lightning and their fans were put into a slight state of panic last night as the Lightning took on the league-leading Montreal Canadiens. Late in the first period, Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov attempted to play the puck along the boards when he lost his edge and slammed into the boards.
Initially, it looked as if it were just a stinger or something of the sort. While Kucherov was a little slow to get up and make his way to the bench, he did remain on the bench and finish out the first period with the team. Unfortunately, this was the last time we would see Kucherov on the Lightning’s bench.
His absence was quickly noticed by Lightning fans when the team returned to the ice for the second period of play. Unfortunately, after waiting the entire 20 minute period for an update on Kucherov’ condition the buzzer would sound and the two teams would make their way back to their respective locker rooms.
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The third period was much of the same for Lightning fans. Still no Kucherov, still no update from the team. After the final buzzer sounded and the Lightning suffered their first road loss of the season, Lightning Head Coach Jon Cooper spoke to the media. Unfortunately, he also had no update to share on Kucherov’ condition.
Earlier this afternoon, Tampa Bay Lightning Beat Writer Bryan Burns informed fans the team has the day off and there would more than likely be no update on Nikita Kucherov’ condition until tomorrow when the team takes the ice for their morning skate.
Unfortunately, this information not only proved to be incorrect, but it was not the kind of news Lightning fans were hoping for. Burns just tweeted the unfortunate news that Nikita Kucherov has been listed as Day-to-Day with an Upper Body Injury.
While this doesn’t give much information as to the nature and/or extent of Kucherov’ injury, it does give Lightning fans a pretty good idea we won’t be seeing Kucherov for Saturday night’s game against the New Jersey Devils. Depending on the extent of his injury, we may not see him until the team returns home.
This definitely doesn’t bode well for the 23-year-old Russian winger. After missing the whole of Training Camp thanks to a hold out in his contract status, Kucherov got off to a rather rusty start.
Kucherov was finally able to break his goal-scoring drought when he scored in the third period against the Toronto Maple Leafs and now he is forced to sit for an unknown amount of time. As you can imagine, this is going to do nothing for shaking off the remaining rust of Kucherov’ game.
It couldn’t happen at a worse time for the young winger, unless you count the time right before the start of the postseason. He was just starting to find his groove and now he is forced to sit once again.
As you can imagine, this is going to cause Tampa Bay Lightning Head Coach Jon Cooper to shake things up a bit in the lineup. We would imagine a call-up from the Syracuse Crunch won’t be too far behind.
As we mentioned before, the Tampa Bay Lightning are set to kick off a back-to-back weekend series on Saturday night at the Prudential Center against the New Jersey Devils. It will most certainly be interesting to see how Coach Cooper changes things up on the ice before the Bolts take on the Devils.