It’s been a rough weekend for the Tampa Bay Lightning’s roster. Two more players, Anthony Cirelli and Andrej Sustr, were added to COVID protocol on Monday, joining the four players from Sunday. Losing those players necessitated a few call-ups throughout the day. After we published, the Lightning announced that Max Lagace, Hugo Alnfelt, and Sean Day were added to the taxi squad. It’s likely that Lagace and Alnefelt will suit up for the game against the Montreal Canadiens.
Another former Syracuse Crunch forward might find himself back in the Lightning line-up as well.
The good news for #tblightning is Brayden Point could return Tuesday against #Habs. He's been progressing well. May not be decided until tomorrow, but if not in for Montreal game, then this week's back-to-back (Thurs-Fri) isn't out of the question— Joe Smith (@JoeSmithTB) December 27, 2021
That’s right, after missing fourteen games, Brayden Point might be back in action for the Lightning. According to reports he skated on a line with Alex Killorn and Mathieu Joseph (although Nikita Kucherov managed to sneak in) and participated in power play drills with the top unit.
Let’s not get overly excited that he will play tonight. That way we won’t be disappointed when he doesn’t. Still, if he’s taking shifts with a regular line in practice, it means he should be back soon. A return to action for the best center on the team would be a boon for the Bolts as they try and navigate through their current roster issues.
With Anthony Cirelli being added to the protocol list, they are thin down the middle. Adding Point back will hopefully invigorate the offense and give a little pep to the power play. As for the rest of the team, this is how the lines looked at practice:
Lines today— Lightning Insider (@Erik_Erlendsson) December 27, 2021
Killorn-Point-Joseph (Kucherov mixing in)
Depth, baby, depth!
As for the other side of the ice, the Montreal Canadiens aren’t in much better shape. Prior to flying down to Tampa, they added five players to their COVID list as well:
Jake Allen, Ben Chiarot, Chris Wideman, Jeff Petry, and Joel Edmundson have been added to the COVID-19 protocol along with goaltending coach Eric Raymond. Corey Schueneman and Cayden Primeau have been officially recalled.
Tyler Toffoli, Laurent Dauphin, Artturi Lehkonen, and Mike Hoffman were already on the protocol list.
Their practice lines were:
Avec tous les absents, voici la formation à l'entraînement. Ça fait pas de sens.— Jonathan Bernier (@JBernierJDM) December 27, 2021
If today’s game is played, it’s going to be almost like watching a Syracuse Crunch vs. Laval Rocket game.
The Lightning/Habs game is still on as of publication. The same can’t be said for some other games this week:
If you’re a former major league ballplayer, chances are you can throw together a pretty nice backyard rink set-up. As we roll towards the Winter Classic in Minnesota, former Twin Justin Morneau showed off his set-up:
David Quinn will take over head coaching duties for Mike Sullivan now that the NHLers aren’t heading to Beijing. John Vanbiesbrouck will be tasked with putting together the team as the new GM.
As COVID rips through several NHL teams, at least one is coming back healthy, The Calgary Flames seem to be through the other side. All 20 players that had tested positive in the weeks and days before the Christmas Break have been cleared to return.