Tampa Bay Lightning forward Cedric Paquette, who has already been forced to miss nine games due to a Lower-Body Injury, could return to the lineup soon.
Over the last couple of seasons, the Tampa Bay Lightning has become pretty close frenemies with the injury bug. Just when the two parties seem to have come to a compromise, the injury bug shows their face again and removes yet another player from the lineup. This was definitely the case for the Lightning last season.
As the Lightning kicked off their 25th Anniversary Season, the team had hoped this was a partnership left in the past. Regrettably, injuries are a part of the game which is rather difficult to avoid. This has become a recurring theme for one particular Tampa Bay Lightning forward.
Lightning center Cedric Paquette has been forced to miss a total of nine games this season with a Lower-Body Injury. The last time Paquette took the ice with his team was on October 17, when the Bolts took on the New Jersey Devils. Unfortunately, this was a contest the Lightning would lose 5-4 in a shootout.
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It was initially believed Paquette would be ready to rejoin the lineup as the Bolts hit the road to tour the Western Conference; however, as the Lightning enter their second game of the road trip, people began to wonder whether or not they would see Paquette back on the ice anytime soon.
Well, it seems as if there is still a possibility of a return for the 24-year-old forward during the Lightning’s Western Conference road trip. According to Tampa Bay Lightning Hockey Reporter Caley Chelios, Lightning Head Coach Jon Cooper stated Paquette would be out of the lineup tonight as the Lightning battle the Los Angeles Kings; however, there is a chance he could start on Sunday night against the Anaheim Ducks.
While Cedric Paquette is not one of those prolific goal-scorers like Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov, Paquette definitely plays an important role on the team. Paquette is what is known as a pest. He is good at breaking up plays and he is one of the first people to step up when someone challenges one of his teammates.
One of the things the Lightning has been lacking over the course of the last few seasons has been someone who can make a stand against some of the more physically aggressively teams in the league. While Paquette may not be the biggest guy in the league, he’s never let this get in his way.
At this point and time, there have been no guarantees made about a return to the Lightning lineup; however, it is encouraging to hear Cooper mention Paquette’s name in the conversation. Things like this are all about timing, and it would be a detriment to the team to add someone back to the lineup before they’re truly ready.
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It will be interesting to see how this scenario will play out. The Lightning has been playing very well as of late and if they want to continue their winning ways they will have to bring their ‘A’ game night in and night out. Tonight, the Bolts will finish off their back-to-back series against the Kings. Here’s hoping they head to Anaheim with another two points added to their league-leading totals.