Tampa Bay Lightning defensemen Sami Salo suffered a lower body injury in Tuesday's 2-1 loss to the Buffalo Sabres and did not return after the second period, leaving him sidelined and listed as day-to-day. According to the team though, Salo will travel on Tampa Bay's four-game road trip. If one wants to speculate, this means he could be back in action sooner rather than later
Salo is undoubtedly one of Tampa Bay's top defensemen, playing in the top pairing along with Victor Hedman for most of the season. .
Through 19 games this season, Sami is a team-leading plus-11, and at one point during the 2013 season, was leading the league in that category (he is 11th in the league at current and 7th among defensemen). Salo has eight points (one goal and seven assists) in 19 games played, adding 24 blocked shots on the season. Sacrificing his body to prevent opponents from scoring may well have contributed to his injury.
Salo, 38, has endured a multitude of injuries throughout his career since breaking in to the NHL in 1998-99. His most recent include a variety of injuries in the 2010 season when he played for the Vancouver Canucks. He missed a multitude of games because of a leg injury, an eye injury, and an Achilles tear.
Defenseman Brendan Mikkelson, whose two-week conditioning assignment with Syracuse of the AHL was at an end, was recalled by the Lightning (along with forward Pierre-Cedric Labrie). Lightning coach Guy Boucher announced that seven defensemen will be in the lineup Thursday against the Rangers, including Mikkelson, who has played in two games with the Lightning this season. Mikkelson appeared in seven games with Syracuse during his conditioning stint. He tallied an assist and has a plus-four rating.
Some might be thinking Salo's injury could have something to do with his age and some might think he is injury prone. Let's face it, Salo does get injured quite often but this has nothing to do with age. The injury bug has struck him in his career before and most of Salo's injuries have only caused him to miss a few games here and there, never a huge chunk of time. However, in 2006, he missed 32 games due to a shoulder injury.
This time, it is unclear what Salo's injury is exactly. Of course, the team is mum when it comes to the specifics of his lower body injury. However, if he is gone for a good amount of time, this will be detrimental to the Lightning who will miss him especially on the power play that is currently struggling. Tampa Bay's power play is in an unfortunate 4-for-41 stretch. The Lightning had five consecutive chances on the man advantage against Buffalo, only coming up empty.