Lightning captain Vinny Lecavalier wasn’t out on the ice for morning skate today and for good reason. Per the team, Vinny is out indefinitely with an unspecified lower body injury and has been placed on injured reserve. It doesn’t sound like surgery is necessary, but the IR move does mean he’ll be out a minimum of 7 days. The injury appears to have been sustained in the third period of Tuesday’s game against the Panthers.
As with most things in life, you take the good with the bad. In losing Lecavalier, the Lightning lose their leader. Vinny was also second on the team in face off percentage and leading the squad in hits. He also sees a significant amount of time on the power play. That’s bad.
The good? Center Tyler Johnson has been called up from the Syracuse Crunch and will make his NHL debut tonight against the New York Islanders. Through 59 games with the Crunch, Johnson has 31 goals and 57 points. 11 of those goals came on the power play. He did take part in the Lightning’s abbreviated training camp in January before the start of the season. Johnson will wear #63 on his sweater this evening.
So what happens now? The Lightning continue to struggle or they channel the Ottawa Senators and keep right on playing. The latter is infinitely more appealing.