Ahhhh...the news cycle of the injured. First, we start with the night of the actual injury itself and a coach saying he’s not sure what the injury is, but will have more information once tests are completed the next day. The next step is the grim prognosis, “It looks like it might be worse than we thought, and Player X will be out for awhile”. Step three is a rush to compare similar injuries to other players in the past to have a time table for return. Then the player kind of disappears for awhile. The game moves on and we are distracted by other things.
Then, one day the player reappears on the ice at a practice. We usually find this out via some beat reporter shooting video from the stands. We look at the date and realize that it fits in the time frame for said players return. We get excited.
Well, get excited Tampa Bay Lightning fans, because we have some cell phone video of Brayden Point on the ice!
Video: Brayden Point getting in some post practice work pic.twitter.com/X8ldzHZ1Nl— Lightning Insider (@Erik_Erlendsson) December 13, 2021
That’s him in the red, no-contact jersey back on the ice having some fun. We’re in the middle of December and it sounds like he’s still a couple of weeks away from returning, so that lines up with the original 4-6 week time line that was thrown out there when he was injured.
We’re still a couple of steps away from completing the journey, though. Next will be the “he’s cleared for full contact”, then he pops up in a regular jersey at practice. The penultimate step is “he’s not in the line-up tonight, but maybe next game”. Finally, Coach Cooper announces after a morning skate the Brayden Point is ready to go and it’s on.
Lightning / NHL News
Brayden Point returns to practice [Tampa Bay Times]
Eduardo Encina fills in some of the details and pries some post-practice quotes out of Point’s teammates and coaches. It seems just his presence has lifted the spirits of the team. Encina also updates the injury status of a couple of other players. It sounds like both Anthony Cirelli and Erik Cernak could be back for the game tonight.
Ben Bishop was key to the Lightning’s resurgence [Raw Charge]
The Lightning aren’t where they are today without Ben Bishop. The big goaltender was instrumental to the run of success that Tampa Bay is still on.
There isn’t much to this report, but Andrew Zardarnowski (who writes for our sister site Eyes on the Prize) is reporting that the NHL and KHL are negotiating to have some NHL teams head over to Russia to play next season. It would make sense that the Washington Capitals, with Alex Ovechkin, and the Lightning with their bevy of Russians to be the two teams to highlight the trip.
Anton Khudobin on waivers [Dallas Morning News]
It doesn’t seem that long ago that Khudobin was leading the Dallas Stars against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Stanley Cup Bubble Tournament. Now, it looks like his journey with the Stars has come to an end as the team has placed him on waivers. There should be some interest in the 35-year-old goaltender, but we’ll have to wait to see if anyone makes a claim or trades for the affable veteran. With Ben Bishop retiring it looks like Braden Holtby and Jake Oettinger will be the duo for Dallas moving forward.
Flames shut down through December 16th due to COVID outbreak [Matchsticks and Gasoline]
The Calgary Flames are the latest team to have to reschedule games due to an outbreak as six members of the team and a trainer entered protocol on Monday. They had three games scheduled this week that will now have to be made up at a later date.
City of Philadelphia will require attendees to Flyers games to provide vaccination proof [Broad Street Hockey]
If you have plans to attend a Philadelphia Flyers game anytime soon, make sure you bring your vaccination card. On Monday, the city of Philadelphia announced that in order to gain entrance into any restaurant, bar, or venue serving food or drink, people will need to be vaccinated. Wells Fargo Arena falls under the new regulation that kicks in January 3rd.