Steven Stamkos was again skating with teammates this morning, as he inches his way back to the lineup. While there is a good chance the Tampa Bay Lightning captain will return to the ice this season he might not be as effective right away. That’s what Zach Parise told Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times a few weeks ago, speaking from experience. Parise had the same surgery on his knee in November of 2010, and though he returned later that year as well, didn’t feel right until the following Christmas.
I’d say it took probably a year and a half to get back to feeling back to normal. That’s what my therapist said, six months to heal, a year you feel better. But to get back to that level for me, I feel like it was almost the following Christmas.
So Stamkos, who may get a chance to help his team in a playoff race—the Lightning are just four points out with 17 games left to play—likely won’t be the elite offensive presence he’s proven to be over the past eight years. Fear not Lightning fans, though Parise says he didn’t feel right until Christmas, he still scored 30 goals and 69 points the year following surgery. It wasn’t all bad.
- The Ottawa Senators will be without Mark Borowiecki tonight against the Arizona Coyotes after tweaking an injury last night in Dallas. Borowiecki is leading the league in penalty minutes this year and gives the Senators a destructive physical presence on the blue line. His 288 hits easily pace the NHL, 38 more than Matt Martin despite playing in eight fewer games.
- Keith Kinkaid has injured his right knee and will be out tonight for the New Jersey Devils, meaning newcomer Ken Appleby will be the backup for Cory Schneider. Andrew Gross of The Record reports that though the Devils don’t think Kinkaid’s injury is serious, if he’s held out of the lineup for a few more games they’ll get Appleby some playing time. The 21-year old has played well at the AHL and ECHL level this season.
- The Nashville Predators will be without P.A. Parenteau and Vernon Fiddler tonight, meaning Kevin Fiala and Colton Sissons will figure back into the lineup. Parenteau practiced this morning but will be held out for precautionary reasons, while Fiddler was absent from practice.
- Tyler Bozak was absent from this morning’s Toronto Maple Leafs practice, but Mike Babcock says he’s a game-time decision. If he’s out, Eric Fehr will get into his first game since being traded from the Pittsburgh Penguins at the deadline. The former Penguin has had a rough season including being waived just before the deadline.