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Cory Conacher's disappearing act

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The Calder Candidate saw limited ice time against Montreal on Saturday night without a clear explanation.

USA TODAY Sports

Tampa Bay Lightning forward Cory Conacher registered a measly 8:34 of ice-time in Saturday's 4-3 loss to the Montreal Canadiens. He only had 10 shifts by the end of the second period and 14 total for the game, a significant decline in ice time for the Calder trophy candidate when compared to his 15:09 TOI average this season.

That leads us to wonder what led to Conacher's drop in ice time? In the Lightning's previous game against the Winnipeg Jets, Conacher registered 17 shifts and 13:01 TOI.

Could Conacher be nursing an injury we don't know about? Montreal is a hard hitting, physical hockey team and Conacher experienced that first hand. When he did have the puck Saturday night, he seemed easily stripped of it. He didn't look strong on the puck and it lead to giveaways although the scoresheet says he didn't have any. He also lost some crucial battles on the boards and registered a single shot on goal for the game.

If Conacher isn't injured, what type of issue could be limiting Conacher's time on ice?"

I tried asking Lightning Coach Guy Boucher about the situation with Conacher after the game in the post game press conference. However, between the disappointing result and the amount of press in the room, I was not able to ask him.