Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Peter Budaj has been placed on Injured Reserve after suffering a Lower-Body Injury on Friday night against the Philadelphia Flyers.
The Tampa Bay Lightning received the news they knew was coming but didn’t quite want to hear. It turns out the injury to Lightning goaltender Peter Budaj was as bad as it looked and he will be spending a little time away from the ice while he recovers.
According to Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times, the Lightning has officially placed Peter Budaj on Injured Reserve. Just in case some of you are unclear as to what this means, it means Budaj will miss at least seven days away from the ice. The upside to this is it allows the team to make a call-up and get some assistance.
In case you missed the Lightning’s battle with the Philadelphia Flyers on Friday night, allow us to set the scene for you and get you all caught up on the whole-body-cringing situation. Just to give you a fair warning, our knee and ACL hurt just watching this play unfold.
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The Lightning and Flyers had just reached the halfway point in the third period. The Flyers had a 4-3 lead over the Bolts. The play had just made its way back to the defensive zone when Flyers defenseman Andrew MacDonald took a shot at the net. Budaj was able to make the stop, but this was not where the play ended.
What Budaj couldn’t see is behind the play, Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman and Flyers forward Scott Laughton were jockeying for position behind the net. Laughton lost his edge want went crumbling to the ice. Unfortunately, with nothing between him and Budaj to stop his forward momentum, Laughton went barreling into the back of Budaj’s leg. Budaj crashed to the ice like a ton of bricks.
It was immediately apparent Budaj was in a tremendous amount of pain. While Budaj was able to make it to his knees unattended, it was clear he was having trouble putting weight on his left leg. Lightning Head Athletic Trainer Tom Mulligan rushed to the ice to attend to Budaj, but there wasn’t a whole lot that could be done on the ice.
After finally making it to his skates, Peter Budaj was helped off the ice by Mulligan and his teammate Mikhail Sergachev. Unfortunately, this would be the last time Lightning fans would see Budaj on the ice. He would miss the remainder of the game with a Lower-Body Injury.
There was some hope Budaj’s injury wasn’t as serious as initially believed, as he was seen walking around the locker room after the game. Unfortunately, looks can be deceiving from time to time.
According to Smith, Lightning Head Coach Jon Cooper said Budaj is currently in week-to-week status. Given his place on the Injured Reserve, the 35-year-old goaltender is guaranteed to miss at least 7 days. This means, in the best case scenario, Budaj would not be eligible to return until January 6 when the Lightning takes on the Ottawa Senators or January 7 when they battle the Detroit Red Wings.
Of course, this is only in the best case scenario.
The Tampa Bay Lightning are dealing with a couple of other injuries right now. Lightning alternate captain Ryan Callahan is out indefinitely after suffering an Upper-Body Injury on December 14 against the Arizona Coyotes. Also missing from the lineup is defenseman Anton Stralman, who is day-to-day with a Lower-Body Injury.
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The good news here is Stralman could possibly make his return against the Columbus Blue Jackets later on this evening. There should be more information on this situation as game time approaches.