Tampa Bay Lightning forward Jonathan Drouin is forced to leave the game against the New York Islanders after an elbow to the head by Calvin De Haan.
The Tampa Bay Lightning have already had a number of encounters with the injury bug this season. It started in the off-season by claiming Lightning alternate captain Ryan Callahan with a labral tear in his hip requiring surgery. Unfortunately, this was just the first of many meetings with the injury bug.
On October 27th, as the Tampa Bay Lightning took on the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov was forced to leave the game after the first period of play when he made an awkward collision with the boards.
The next day, it was determined that Nikita Kucherov would be listed as Day-to-Day with an Upper Body Injury thanks to the collision. This would cause Kucherov to miss the Lightning’s next game against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center in Jersey.
Tonight, as the Tampa Bay Lightning look to finish off their beleaguered road trip on a high note, the Bolts are once again faced with a potential battle against the injury bug. Needless to say, this is not exactly how the Lightning envisioned starting out tonight’s game against the Islanders.
Just 1:42 into the period, Lightning forward Jonathan Drouin would attempt to play the puck along the boards. Unfortunately for Drouin, he was met by the business end of the elbow of Islanders defenseman Calvin de Haan. As you can imagine, Drouin went down rather quickly.
The good news is, Drouin was able to make it off the ice under his own volition. The bad news is, Drouin didn’t remain on the Lightning bench for very long. Just moments after making it off the ice, Jonathan Drouin headed back to the Lightning locker room alongside Lightning Head Athletic Trainer Tom Mulligan.
Jonathan Drouin was not seen for the remainder of the first period. As the intermission begun, there was still no update to be had on Drouin’s condition. Drouin is not one of those players a team can easily afford to miss from their lineup; especially when they are in the same position as the Tampa Bay Lightning are right now.
While the initial hit may have been made with good intent, the follow up with the elbow was not. Surprisingly enough, the penalties that followed the entire incident were a little mismatched. Unfortunately, this is another story for another time.
It would be incredibly shocking if De Haan doesn’t receive a phone call from the NHL Department of Player Safety tomorrow morning; especially if there is some sort of extended injury to Drouin as a result of the play. At the very least, and we mean very least, De Haan will walk away with a rather hefty fine.
There is still plenty of hockey to be played between these two teams at the Barclays Center. Hopefully, we’ll get some sort of update on Drouin’s condition when the team returns to the ice for the second period of play.