Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
The Tampa Bay Lightning lost their young goaltender last night to a lower-body injury; a franchise affected by injuries as-is will have to further cover for a loss.
Last night in Toronto was taxing enough on the patience and morale of Tampa Bay Lightning fans for various reasons besides the play by the team itself. One of those reasons was the mysterious disappearance of goaltender Anders Lindback (who had come into the game in relief of starter of Mathieu Garon during the second period).
Post game, fans learned of an ambiguous lower-body injury sustained by Lindback. As it turns out, the injury is an ankle sprain, which will keep the young goaltender out indefinitely. A recall by the Lightning from the Syracuse Crunch is imminent, though I won't list Cedrick Desjardins as the absolute certainty as the goaltending recall. The option is there for the Bolts to give Riku Helenius another taste of the NHL.
With less than 13 days until the NHL trade deadline, this injury that further deplete the roster of a starter could prove enough for management to wave the proverbial white flag and put up an open-for-business sign on the trade market. Then again, General Manager Steve Yzerman has already likely been listening to offers and assessing what can be had (and at what cost).
This is the second year in a row fleeting playoff aspirations have been foiled by a key goaltending injury down the stretch. Last year, Garon went down with a torn groin. Garon's injury, coupled with a mid-February trade off of team veterans, were the final nails in the coffin of the Bolts playoff chances.