Recap: Lightning lose Jeannot, home ice, and the game to Islanders
It was not a great Thursday night for the Tampa Bay Lightning with only a week to go before the playoffs. Not only did they lose 6-1 at the hands of the New York Islanders, they also officially lost home ice advantage to the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round. The biggest loss, however, is that of Tanner Jeannot, whose leg was injured by Scott Mayfield in the second period with what looks to be a very serious injury.
This is what happened to Jeannot. He and Mayfield were going towards the boards near the penalty boxes with Jeannot aiming to tip the puck into the offensive zone, which he did, by the way. Mayfield was alongside and behind Jeannot and was using his leg and hip to drive Jeannot into the boards for a hit. Contrary to what his lower body was doing, Mayfield was also pushing against Jeannot from the front on his upper half. This caused Jeannot to fall backwards, and unfortunately because Mayfield was also pushing down on Jeannot, he wasn't able to get his right leg out from under him. Jeannot's right leg buckled and he put his full weight (and some of Mayfield's) onto the leg, his thigh, and more importantly on his knee joint.
Hockey Twitter Doctor, Dr. Grewal, believes this could be a torn MCL that would put Jeannot out for at least four weeks. Looking at the schedule upcoming, that'll cover the rest of the regular season, and a full seven-game series against Toronto (each series is typically two weeks long). He could be back for the second round. If the injury isn't as bad as this estimation, we could see him come back in the later part of the Toronto series. Jeannot is an RFA at the end of this year so this won't be the last time we see him as a Bolt.
Jon Cooper shared concern over Jeannot's injury in the postgame conference. He seems to agree that it's going to be a serious injury.
To summarize the injury front, the Lightning are now without the following players:
- Tanner Jeannot: knee/leg injury, out possibly 4 weeks
- Pat Maroon: left arm injury, timeline unknown, but not expected to be serious
- Anthony Cirelli: day to day with a lower body injury, missed Thursday's game
- Brandon Hagel: day to day with a lower body injury, missed Thursday's game
- Erik Cernak: day to day with a lower body injury, missed Thursday's game
I believe those latter three players being out are more for maintenance than injuries they wouldn't be able to play through if necessary. It should bring some comfort to know the Lightning didn't lose a game to the Islanders by such a scoreline with their proper lineup, instead without several key players and the backup in net on the second night of a back to back.
The other lesser result of this loss is the official loss of home ice advantage to the Leafs, who lost in overtime to the Boston Bruins. This was essentially locked up a month ago, as was the first round matchup when Boston started running away and Florida choked in November/December. The rematch is set with Toronto second and Tampa Bay third yet again. Toronto has had home ice in the playoffs a lot in the Matthews era, it hasn't been helping them yet.
Back to the game. Once again, it was on the second night of a back to back with the Lightning presumably resting players and with the backup goalie in net. It was always going to be an uphill climb, and it was one the Lightning didn't end up making. That's the silver lining for tonight; this game is not representative and it won't matter. That said, it still doesn't feel good.
Last thing, and it's a positive. Steven Stamkos skated in his 1000th career NHL game tonight. He has 1052 career points in 1000 career games, and only four seasons out of his 15 in the league under a point per game.
Here is the modified lineup the Lightning went in with.
Stamkos - Point - Kucherov (great first line in the playoffs)
Killorn - Paul - Eyssimont (could be a good third line in the playoffs)
Jeannot - Bellemare - Perry (could be a good fourth line in the playoffs sans Jeannot now)
Fleury - Colton - Maroon (they used Fleury at forward to help spread out minutes up front)
Hedman - Perbix
Sergachev - Raddysh
Cole - Bogosian
This game stunk, so I don't think I'm going to do a full recap of the action, mostly since they were either goals not for us, or injuries to our guys.
This game was heading down the wrong path right from the start as the Lightning were getting outshot 1-10 in the first 10 minutes. Somehow they ended the period tied at zero as they got outshot by an astonishing 5-31 (!) by the wild card team.
The second period saw the floodgates open as the Islanders scored four goals while Kucherov got the lone goal for the Lightning. They also got out-shot again, this time 16-23. The Lightning actually had more shots shorthanded (3-1) during the Islanders one power play in this period than they did at 5v5.
The third period was played out by the two sides, with the Islanders scoring two more in the second half of the final period to really end the game. The Lightning slightly led in shots in the third (23-20), but that margin was unremarkable once accounting for score effects (the leading team will take their foot off the gas, thus giving the trailing team more shots).
In the end, this was the worst loss of the season for the Tampa Bay Lightning. At 5v5, they allowed 74 shot attempts from the Islanders. It was the second-worst loss of the season by shot share (34%) behind only the January loss to the Flames.
All of the Islanders goals