Tampa Bay Lightning forward Tyler Johnson is ready to make his season debut tonight as the Bolts take on the Vancouver Canucks.
The Tampa Bay Lightning got off to a good start on Saturday night as they took on their in-state rivals, the Florida Panthers, in the Home Opener and brought home a shootout victory. Unfortunately, some members of the team were forced to watch the action from the sidelines.
One of the aforementioned players was Lightning forward Tyler Johnson. Johnson missed the second half of training camp after suffering an Upper-Body Injury. It was this same injury that caused him to miss the first game of the season.
Thankfully, it seems as if Johnson’s injury woes have reached their end. According to Tampa Bay Lightning Hockey Reporter Caley Chelios, Lightning Head Coach Jon Cooper has said Tyler Johnson is good to go for tonight’s matchup against the Vancouver Canucks.
The addition of Tyler Johnson to the Lightning lineup could be a huge offensive booster for the Bolts. According to Lightning Beat Writer Bryan Burns, Coach Cooper had some pretty phenomenal things to say about the 28-year-old forward.
"“Before he got hurt in training camp, he was arguably our best player.”"
Last season, Johnson brought home 21 goals and 29 assists for a total of 50 points to accompany his plus-3 rating. Judging by Coach Cooper’s comments, it seems the off-season was rather kind to Johnson.
The Bolts could definitely use a jolt in the offense department right now. In the Home Opener, the Lightning trailed the Florida Panthers for just shy of two and a half periods of play. The first Lightning goal was registered at 10:45 in the Third Period when Anthony Cirelli picked up his first goal of the season.
Hopefully, the Lightning’s four-day break between games has given the team the time they needed to shake off any remaining rust from the off-season and focus their minds on the road ahead. While you’d be hard pressed to find a hockey fan that enjoys a four-day break directly following the first game of the season, there’s no denying this break played a factor in the timing of Tyler Johnson’s return to the lineup.
The puck is scheduled to drop at 7:30 p.m. tonight at the Amalie Arena. Here’s hoping the Tampa Bay Lightning is able to continue their winning ways and bring home their second victory of the season tonight against the Canucks.