Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Jake Dotchin will not make his return to the Lightning lineup on the team’s current road trip.
The Tampa Bay Lightning is looking to get back on track after losing two in a row, but it seems there are still a few minor obstacles in their way to victory. The Bolts lost two in a row over the Holiday weekend, losing to the Washington Capitals 3-1 on Friday night only to be hit with a 5-2 loss at the hands of the Pittsburgh Penguins the following night.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel. The Lightning will kick off another back-to-back series tomorrow night at the team heads to the KeyBank Center to take on the Buffalo Sabres. Unfortunately, the team will enter this contest without the assistance of one of their talented, young defensemen.
Tampa Bay Lightning d-man Jake Dotchin has already been forced to miss the last three games with an undisclosed injury, and it looks as if he is about to add a minimum of two more games to this total.
According to Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times, Lightning Head Coach Jon Cooper announced Dotchin would not be returning during the Lightning’s current road trip. While Dotchin is eligible to return to the lineup off of Injured Reserve tomorrow night, fans will have to wait just a little while longer for Dotchin’s return.
Smith says Cooper is “hopeful” Dotchin will be ready to rejoin his teammates when the team returns to the Amalie Arena to take on the San Jose Sharks on Saturday night. As most fans know by now, “hopeful” is definitely not a solid yes. Many things could change in between now and Saturday night.
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Dotchin has been doing well defensively this season; of course, he has some mighty strong competition to keep up with. Players like Victor Hedman and Anton Stralman continue to lead the way for the Bolts defense. Of course, let us not forget about Slater Koekkoek and how well he has been performing this season.
In addition to his defensive duties, Dotchin has also contributed to the scoresheet. The Ontario native has brought home two goals and two assists so far this season for a total of four points along with a plus-one rating. It would definitely do the team some good to get a player like Dotchin back in the lineup.
There are a few loose ends that need to be tied up by the Lightning. Hopefully, once Jake Dotchin is able to make his way back into the lineup, the Bolts will have the wiggle room to make the moves necessary to shore up the Lightning’s blueline and get things where they need to be.
Once the Lightning finishes up with the Bruins on Wednesday night and head back to the Sunshine State, the team will have a better idea about Dotchin’s current state of recovery and when he may be able to make his return to the lineup. Until then, it’s on to Buffalo for the Boys in Blue.