Tampa Bay Lightning Head Coach Jon Cooper says forward Cedric Paquette is “a couple of weeks” away from returning to the ice.
If there was ever a thing in this world which came as no surprise to the Tampa Bay Lightning and their fans, it would be injuries. It almost seems as if injuries are the bane of the team’s existence. For example, the moment in time last season when the team would lose more players than they’d gain in any given game.
When the Bolts kicked off their 25th Anniversary Season earlier this month, players and fans alike had hoped the stigma had become a thing of the past and the team would be ready to head into the new season with a clean bill of health. Well, needless to say, this didn’t last long.
As most Lightning fans know by now, Lightning forward Cedric Paquette has been dealing with a nagging Lower-Body Injury this season. Paquette was forced to miss the Lightning’s first encounter with the defending Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins back on Oct. 12, which ended in a 5-4 Lightning victory.
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He was back in the lineup against the St. Louis Blues, Detroit Red Wings, and New Jersey Devils (respectively) but then he would find himself relegated to the sidelines once again. While the exact nature of his injury is unknown, it is pretty clear it is going to be a minute before fans see him on the ice once again.
According to Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times, Lightning Head Coach Jon Cooper has stated Cedric Paquette is “weeks away” from making his return to the Lightning lineup. On the flip side, Cooper also claims the injury to Paquette is not that serious.
“Not that this is serious, he’s going to mend up and he’ll be back.” Cooper told Smith
As much as we would all love to see Paquette back on the ice, we are almost relieved by the way Coach Cooper is handling this situation. There are all too many times when a player is either rushed, or pushes themselves a little too hard, to return to the ice before they are really ready.
It has been proven in the past (here’s looking at you, Ryan Callahan) this is not always the best course of action and could ultimately end up delaying their return to the ice and causing further damage to their bodies. In the worst case scenario, this could potentially be the end of a player’s career.
Thankfully, this doesn’t seem to be the case with Cedric Paquette. So, yes, Tampa Bay Lightning fans will have to wait a couple of weeks before their friendly neighborhood pest returns to the lineup, but when all is said and done, this is more than likely the best course of action to ensure his full recovery.