The surprising season of the Tampa Bay Lightning now seems to be hanging in the balance after star center Steven Stamkos suffered what clearly looks to be a serious leg injury during today's Veterans Day matinee in Boston.
While backchecking in his own zone, Stamkos was ridden into the goalpoast of the Tampa net and his right leg appeared to whip around the post in an ugly contortion. He tried to get up on the leg but collapsed in pain and started to pound the ice with his hand in agony as trainers and a Bruins team doctor attended to him.
The Flyers looked like Dead Team Skating when they were here Saturday afternoon and I know I wasn't the only one thinking Lindy Ruff might have a chance at a small measure of revenge against Peter Laviolette for 2006 by taking his job behind the Flyers' bench next season.
From the sounds of things coming out of Montreal today, it looks like that's not going to happen.
TAMPA, Fla. -- No changes for the Sabres tonight as Ryan Miller will be in goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning, while Andrej Sekera (injured) and the tandem of John Scott and Drew Stafford (healthy) will be the scratches. Interim coach Ron Rolston said Sekera could play Thursday at Florida.
Big changes, of course, with Tampa as AHL coach Jon Cooper has been hired to replace Guy Boucher but will make his debut Friday night. Assistants will run the Lightning again tonight as they did Sunday in Winnipeg.
Tampa GM Steve Yzerman met with the media today to discuss the coaching change but didn't give a whole lot of clarity into the situation when I asked him about the possibility of hiring Lindy Ruff.
TAMPA, Fla. -- Tampa Bay averages nearly four goals per game. The Sabres have totaled two goals in their last three games.
Obviously, Buffalo needs to pick up the pace to have any chance against the Lightning.
Tampa Bay leads the NHL with 69 goals in 18 games, an average of 3.8 per outing. The Lightning have scored 33 goals in third periods. Buffalo, by contrast, has 47 goals all year.
"They’re a team that gets up and down real quick," Sabres interim coach Ron Rolston said after the morning skate in Tampa Bay Times Forum. "Both
offensively and defensively we’re going to have to play faster."
The Sabres' offense could get a boost if the power play wakes up. Buffalo is in a 2-for-46 drought. Tampa's penalty killers rank tied for 12th with a 82.8 percent success rate.
"For us, I think it’s more of a confidence thing
both on the power play now and five-on-five to generate offense," Rolston said. "I think we’re
getting some quality looks and some chances, and now it’s just finishing, not
squeezing our stick."
The Sabres will scratch defenseman T.J. Brennan and forward John Scott. Ryan Miller will start in goal against Tampa's Mathieu Garon.
John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.
Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.
Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.