February 15, 2012
Lightning forward Ryan Malone returned to the lineup on Tuesday night against Ottawa after having missed eight games with an upper-body injury.
Bolts head coach Guy Boucher had hopes to have Malone ready for the team’s first game following the All-Star Break, but kept him out as a precaution even though the winger continued to skate and practice with the team last week.
In his first game back, Malone logged 19:34, including 1:30 of power play time, recorded three shots on goal and was a minus-2.
The Lightning are almost back to being fully healthy, which is quite a long way from where it was in the days prior to the All-Star Break.
Among those still out with injuries are defensemen Marc-Andre Bergeron and Matt Gilroy, both with upper-body injuries. Gilroy skated Tuesday morning prior to the team’s game against the Senators, but did not play.
Bergeron, meanwhile, continues to experience discomfort in his back as a result of an injury sustained while lifting weights.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman was present at Tuesday’s game and had a few bulletpoints to offer on a variety of hot topics regarding the game.
According to Bettman, City of Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn held a dinner meeting with the Commissioner where he requested that the NHL All-Star Game return to Tampa Bay. The Lightning last hosted the mid-season showcase in 1999, but Bettman did not rule out the possibility that the game could return to the Bay Area sometime in the near future.
Bettman also stated that no discussions have taken place as of yet with the NHL Players’ Association to construct a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, which expires Sept. 15. He also touched on the team’s concerns regarding travel as a result of the proposed realignment plan, saying that “overwhelmingly, the Board of Governors believed this was the right way to go, and whatever issues any particular club had, on balance, this was a good thing for the league.”
SEEN ON TWITTER
Lightning defenseman Brendan Mikkelson had high praise for his goaltender following Saturday’s 2-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabres.
The only problem was that Mikkelson, in a celebratory Tweet, mistakenly tagged current New York Rangers backup goalie Martin Biron instead of his own net minder, Mathieu Garon, sparking some friendly criticism from teammates at Mikkelson’s expense over the Internet.
The original Tweet from Mikelsson (@BMikk29) read: “What a big win! Big stops by @martybiron43 in the third to hold the fort.” It didn’t take but a few minutes after that for fellow defensemen Victor Hedman and Bruno Gervais to chime in, with Hedman (@heds77) replying “really?” while Gervais (@bruno_gervais27) went on to Tweet “all this time I thought Matty Garon was in our net.”
After coming to the realization with his gaffe, Mikkelson couldn’t help but chuckle himself and sent out a second Tweet that read “Ooops. Haha wrong name on the last Tweet. Guess I need to get my eyes checked.”