Losing to the Carolina Hurricanes 6-0 was pretty bad. Seeing their All-Star, future hall-fame defenseman lying prone on the ice grasping at his back in the second period was even worse. Victor Hedman left Sunday’s game with apparent middle-body injury following a hit from Andrei Svechnikov:
Victor Hedman has suffered an apparent injury and has gone to the Lightning locker room. pic.twitter.com/XtlS3ifBIt— B/R Open Ice (@BR_OpenIce) March 5, 2023
After 10 minutes of game time in the locker room, Hedman did return for an 11-second shift. He could be seen shaking his head at the bench after a stoppage in play and then he returned to the locker room for the rest of the night. In his absence, Ian Cole (24:24) and Mikhail Sergachev (23:43) logged extensive ice time. Even Zach Bogosian (20:22) and Nick Perbix (20:58) cracked the 20 minute barrier. Haydn Fleury came close with 19:23.
Following the game, Coach Cooper didn’t have any more information about the status of his best defenseman, but tried to find the positive as he told the media, “He tried to come back and couldn’t do it. I guess if there is a positive, he did try and come back.”
There was no official news from the team yesterday, but former Lightning goaltender and current breaker of news had an update of sorts.
**Update **— Kevin Weekes (@KevinWeekes) March 6, 2023
Always rooting for health and safety of the players. In speaking to sources, @TBLightning Star D Hedman was evaluated today and as of now TBL they don’t expect him to miss any extended time. @espn @NHL @NHLNetwork @TSNHockey @DKSportsbook #HockeyTwitter
“Extended time” is a vague term, but it’s better than hearing that Hedman is out long term for sure. With Erik Cernak nursing an injury as well, it’s been a rough week for the Lightning defense. They will be testing general manager Julien BriseBois’s faith in the depth of his defense.
Haydn Fleury and Darren Raddysh will likely see some more playing time if both of the veterans are out for a couple of games. Should either of the two go on injured reserve that would open up space to recall Philippe Myers or Trevor Carrick, the two defensemen in Syracuse that have NHL experience. That’s not an ideal solution for a team that has been struggling on defense.
However, rushing back either Cernak or Hedman would be a mistake as well. At this point it’s better that they miss time now than to play through it for games that won’t change the Lightning’s standings. Rather they heal up now and be ready for the first round match-up with the Maple Leafs.
There should be more information following the morning skate on both defenders. Hopefully, it’s more good news.
Lightning / NHL News
Crunch take two out of three last week [Raw Charge]
Even with a few key players out of the line-up, the Lightning are hanging in there with the top of the North Division.
Update on Raw Charge [Raw Charge]
For better or worse we’re continuing on.
Taylor Jeannot on The Block Party [Bolts Radio Twitter]
Get to know one of the newest Bolts. Jeannot joins the folks at The Block Party to talk about his career so far.
Lightning to host Pride Night against the Flyers [Tampa Bay Lightning]
The Lightning will be hosting their annual Pride Night tonight. Players will be using Pride tape on their sticks during the morning skate and warm-ups. Those sticks will then be auctioned off via the Lightning Foundation and the proceeds will go to local LBGTQ+ organizations. Numerous promotions throughout the game will also benefit local non-profits in the community as well. Limited edition Pride mystery pucks designed by Chad Mize will be for sale as well.
Can the Lightning flip the switch [The Jeff Marek Show/ YouTube]
Well, at least the national press is talking about the Lightning for once. Yes, they can, by the way. The real questions is, will they?
Ryan O’Reilly out long term with broken finger [ESPN]
The Toronto Maple Leafs big trade deadline acquisition is going to be out for at least 10 games after suffering a broken finger. The team placed him on Long Term Injury Relief giving them some flexibility in filling the void until the playoffs. If he misses just the minimum amount of games he should return at the end of this month, giving the team about two weeks to work the 32-year-old back into the line-up.
NHL ‘red hot’ over Stephen A. Smith’s dismissive hockey comments [Awful Announcing]
Stephen A. Smith is going to do what he does - make comments that generate reactions. That’s literally his job. However, ESPN would have to expect some blow back from the league when the network’s top personality casually dismissing the sport. ESPN itself probably isn’t thrilled considering they’re paying $400 million a year for broadcast rights. However, from a certain point of view, Smith, and co-host Molly Qerim’s reaction, sparked more interest than if they had agreed with Michael Kay’s answer of “the Rangers” when asked which New York team would win the next trophy. Any press is good press.
Also, we got this out of it. So that’s fun. (By the way, Stephen, claiming Gary Bettman is your friend isn’t going to really endear you to many NHL fans).
Go @NYRangers pic.twitter.com/x6HZuR79cB— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) March 3, 2023
Three Stars of the Week [NHL.com]
Dmitry Orlov, Claude Giroux, and Filip Gustavsson were named the three stars of the week. Orlov posted a 3 goal, 6 assist week for his new team while Claude Giroux posted the same numbers for the suddenly hot Senators. Gustavsson allowed one goal in two games as the Wild won all three games this week.
Kasimir Kaskisuo suspended for five games [Yahoo Sports]
Saturday night was an interesting night for goaltenders as the AHL saw a goalie goal and a goalie fight. Over in Sweden, former Orlando Solar Bears goaltender Kasimir Kaskisou hucked a water bottle at a ref and hit him. Kudos for the aim, but unfortunately his actions are going to cost him five games.