Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos and forward Pat Maroon will not be taking the ice with their teammates tonight as the Lightning takes on the Chicago Blackhawks.
The Tampa Bay Lightning went on quite the streak over the past couple weeks, setting a new franchise record with their 11-game win streak. Unfortunately, since then, the Lightning has been on a bit of a skid, dropping games to the Vegas Golden Knights, Arizona Coyotes, and Toronto Maple Leafs, respectively.
There are many things which have contributed to the Lightning’s recent on-ice woes, but one of the easiest to identify has been injuries. As the Lightning prepares to take the ice at Amalie Arena tonight to take on the Chicago Blackhawks, the boys in blue will be without two (possibly three) members of their lineup.
According to Lightning Head Coach Jon Cooper, both captain Steven Stamkos and forward Pat Maroon will be out of the lineup tonight, both dealing with injuries. The third potential player to be out of the lineup tonight is newly-acquired forward Blake Coleman who is with his wife as they are welcoming a new addition to their family. According to Cooper, Coleman is a game-time decision.
As for Stammer and Maroon, they will definitely be sitting this one out.
The status of Lightning captain Steven Stamkos has been up in the air since Tuesday night. As most Lightning fans know by now, Stamkos exited the game on Tuesday night in the Second Period against the Toronto Maple Leafs and did not return. Pat Maroon, on the other hand, is dealing with a lingering injury.
Being completely honest, the Tampa Bay Lightning needs to be especially careful with their players right now. The postseason is quickly approaching and if the Lightning wants any form of redemption for their embarrassingly quick exit last season, they are going to need all their players at 100 percent.
As much as we love seeing the captain, and everyone else on the roster, out on the ice winning games, their health is more important. If it takes a couple of games for the lot of them to be back at 100 percent, then a couple of games they shall sit.
Also, out of the lineup tonight is defenseman Ryan McDonagh and Jan Rutta. Both McDonagh and Rutta are dealing with slightly more serious lower-body injuries and are currently classified as week-to-week. McDonagh’s absence has definitely been felt on the blueline as the Bolts seem to be encountering a number of defensive woes as of late.
The Tampa Bay Lightning definitely has a hard road ahead of them tonight as they take on the Blackhawks. While searching for a bit of redemption, they are coming face-to-face with a team looking for the same type of redemption. The Blackhawks have registered losses in their last two games, dropping games to the Dallas Stars and St. Louis Blues, respectively.
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It will certainly be interesting to see how the Lightning responds to the situation at hand, especially given the fact they will be in front of their hometown crowd. Hopefully, the Lightning can feel the Thunder coming from the stands tonight and pick up a much-needed two points against the Blackhawks.