Lightning coach Guy Boucher and goalie Anders Lindback talk about Tampa Bay Lightning's 3-2 victory over the Florida Panthers.
Anders Lindback gets the start in net tonight for the Lightning against the Panthers. It’s an important game as the loser falls to the bottom of the league standings.
But Lindback also faces Florida goaltender Jacob Markstrom, a lifelong friend from the town of Gavle, Sweden.
“We were pretty close,” Lindback said. “We grew up together about two blocks away from each other, the families knew each other. We played on the same team for quite a while too in the same organization.”
That would be Brynas IF Gavle, for which Lindback played from 2005-09. Markstrom was there from 2007-10. Lindback was drafted 207th overall by the Predators in 2008. Markstrom was drafted 31st overall the same year by the Panthers.
Asked if it will be weird to play against his buddy, Lindbck said, “Since we played on the same team, we’re used to competing against each other because we were competing for ice time. You always want to be the No. 1 and you always want to win, so it’s not a big deal at all. He’s kind of far away from me, too, in the game.”
Besides, he added, “There’s no friends out there tonight. I’m looking forward to being able to help the team win.”
Other stuff from the morning skate: Coach Guy Boucher said he likely will go with seven defensemen for the game with the Panthers, primarily to help ease Radko Gudas into the flow in his first NHL game. “That way it gives us the possibility and the luxury of making different pairs to help him, not give him too much ice time so he can’t swallow it,” Boucher said. “Try to ease him in, give him ice time but ice time that’s manageable so we don’t expose him.” … If Boucher goes with seven defensemen, Marc-Andre Bergeron will come in. Brian Lee, who has really struggled lately, is scratched. “Just give him a thinker tonight,” Boucher said, “pull back a little bit, give him time to think and refocus, so he’s back better when he comes back.” … Lee, by the way, is minus-13. Only two of 751 listed players are worse. … As one would expect, there was much talk about Gudas’ ever-growing beard which he has not shaved since Dec. 31. It’s gotten so bushy it has taken on a life of its own in that someone has started a twitter account called RadkoGudasBeard, and AHL Syracuse even had a Fear the Beard night. Asked why he started growing the beard, Gudas joked, “It’s cold in Syracuse. It keeps me warm.” Asked what it will take for him to shave it, Gudas added to reporters, “I don’t know. You guys are going to have to come up with something.” Gudas said the beard is a result of several factors. First, he is lazy and did not shave when he was in Florida for Lightning training camp. Then, the Crunch took a bonding trip to Lake Placid, so he didn’t have there. And when the Fear the Beard promotion was coming up, well, he couldn’t shave then. And so here we are. “He’s got a great beard,” Boucher said. “I don’t know if it makes him scarier or weirder, but I’ll take whatever he’s wearing if he plays like I’ve seen him play.”??
Just hours after the lockout was put into effect at 12:01 a.m. EST on Sunday, Sept. 16, the NHL put this statement up on its website directed at the fan base:
“Despite the expiration of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the National Hockey League has been, and remains, committed to negotiating…
The Lightning should get a boost tonight against the Jets when left wing Ryan Malone returns to the lineup after missing 13 games with a lower-body injury.
“It feels good,” Malone said. “I think we just took our time with it and went through the rehab properly. So, it feels good, and I’m excited to get back for a big game.”
Malone, 33, was hurt before the Feb. 10 game at the Rangers during the team’s usual soccer ball kick-around. Malone said he aggravated an existing condition when he tried to kick the ball.
It took so Malone so long to get back, he said, because the team wanted him completely healed before he got back on the ice. A good plan as Malone has been injury prone. He has not played more than 70 games in any of his four previous Tampa Bay seasons, and in 20010-11 played only 54.
“We didn’t want to come back too early for any reason,” Malone said. “You want to do everything you can to help the team, but you want to make sure you do everything you can not to get injured again.”
“Nothing is like a game,” Malone added, “but as much body contact as I could get in practice, we did. I’m fully healed and ready.”
Expect Malone, who has four goals and five points in 10 games, to take his usual turns on the power play and penalty kill, though coach Guy Boucher said he will monitor Malone’s minutes.
“He hasn’t played in a long timer, so I have to be smart and give him the minutes he can manager,” Boucher said. “I’m going to have to hold it back a little bit so he can look good on the ice.”
Other stuff from the morning skate: With Malone back in the lineup, sounds as if forward Adam Hall will be scratched. … Center Steven Stamkos, with a league-best 17 goals, did not skate but is expected to play. Boucher said Stamkos simply deserved a rest. … Defensemen Marc-Ander Bergeron and Brendan Mikkelson also will be scratched. … As expected, Anders Lindback will be in net against Winnipeg. … Goaltender Mathieu Garon on Wednesday had an MRI exam on the lower body injury that forced him out of Monday’s game at Pittsburgh. He said the exam came back all clear and he will skate Friday and then re-evaluate. … Captain Vinny Lecavalier’s production has fallen off recently, but it coincides with his left foot injury, sustained Feb. 2, when he took a slap shot from teammate Sami Salo flush off the left foot. Lecavalier has two goals and nine points in 15 games since then. Before the injury he had four goals and 11 points in eight games. “It’s been tough for him,” Boucher said. “It affects his push-off, it affects his timing. Eventually, it’s his confidence. He was just trying to survive out there.” But Lecavalier has shown signs of a rebound with three assists in his past two games. His two-point effort Tuesday at New Jersey was his best overall since his injury. “I definitely feel stronger now,” he said. “It feels better every day.” Asked if a game or two off would have helped, Lecavalier said sitting out was never seriously considered, especially with the team struggling. “You want to be part of it,” he said. “You want to keep pushing through as a player. You ask any guys in this room. If the same thing happened, they would do the same thing. They want to keep playing and want to keep going.” … Rookie Cory Conacher said the head shot he took Tuesday from New Jersey’s Cam Janssen “hurt a little” but “I tried to get up as fast as I could to show no pain.” Janssen left his feet and used his shoulder to hit Conacher. Janssen got a charging penalty. There was no supplementary discipline from the league. “It was my fault for not guarding myself a little better and expecting the hit,” Conacher said, and added about teammate Victor Hedman confronting Janssen, “It’s the type of teammate you want. It’s important to have guys like that on your team. It shows a lot of character. You have to appreciate him doing that for me. … Terry Crisp, the Lightning’s first coach and now a television analyst for the Predators, will be honored at tonight’s game as part of Tampa Bay’s 20th anniversary celebration.??
Lightning center Nate Thompson talks about the 5-2 win over the Devils at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J, and his career-best two-goal game.??
Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Mathieu Garon said he felt a lot better Tuesday and does not believe his lower-body injury is serious.
In fact, Garon, listed as day to day, said he hopes to be ready to play “in a couple of days.”
“We’ll have to test it on the ice, but in a couple of days, hopefully, I’ll be good.”
In the meantime, Cedrick Desjardins was called up from AHL Syracuse and will be the backup to Anders Lindback tonight at New Jersey.
Garon, who was having another superb game Monday against the Penguins, was hurt early in the second period as he twisted himself to prepare for a shot. And he, in fact, made a terrific save on Evgeni Malkin’s one-timer from in front of the net.
But at the next break in the action, Garon was looked at by head athletic trainer Tommy Mulligan and left the game at 2:19 of the period after stopping 12 of 13 shots.
Garon, whose 2011-12 season ended in a March 6 game against the Senators because of a torn groin, said his current injury has nothing to do with any previous problem, though he declined to give specifics
So did coach Guy Boucher
“It’s day-to-day,” he said. “We’ll see but right now it’s not something to fall off a bridge for.”
Garon has played in six consecutive games for Tampa Bay, including five starts. He is just 1-4-0 in that stretch but has a respectable 2.61 goals-against average and .912 save percentage.
Other stuff from the morning: Left wing Ryan Malone will miss his 13th game with a lower body injury. Boucher said malone had a hard practice Tuesday, the results of which might go a long way to determining when Malone plays, but it will not be against the Devils. … Other than Lindback in net and Desjardins as the backup, Boucher said he will go with the same lineup as in Monday’s 4-3 loss to the Penguins. … Ondrej Palat got good reviews for his first NHL game Monday in which he had 9:28 of ice time and his first NHL point, an assist, on Tom Pyatt’s goal. “The guys are bigger and quicker and the first couple of shifts I looked around, how is it to play in the NHL,” Palat said. “But after a couple of shifts I felt pretty comfortable and played my game.” As for gaining his first NHL point, Palat said, “I’m very happy, but too bad we lost the game.” … Pyatt could have sustained some major damage Monday when Nate Thompson’s deflected shot hit him under his nose. Instead, the puck deflected off him and floated past crouching goalie Marc-Andre Fleury. Pyatt said he didn’t even know he had scored until his teammates began celebrating. “I was down on my knees checking my teeth,” Pyatt said. … Another reason we like Pierre-Cedric Labrie. When Pittsburgh’s Deryk Engelland slipped and fell during his fight with Labrie, Labrie stopped fighting. “I fought him before, like three years ago in Manitoba,” Labrie said. “I remember I slipped and while I was down he just stopped, a loyal player. I respect that kind of player for sure.”