June 9: A few days later and the story remains the same. Cooper has ruled Point out for game five, despite him once again taking morning skate with his teammates.
June 6: Though he was on the ice again today, Brayden Point still won’t be able to make his return to the lineup for game four. The Tampa Bay Lightning forward was ruled out immediately by head coach Jon Cooper, who spoke to reporters including Joe Smith of The Athletic.
It’s not that anyone really expected Point to be back in the lineup, given how Cooper has discussed the situation so far, but with the Lightning winning game three there is at least hope now that he’ll be able to make an appearance. The New York Rangers still have a lead in the series but after being thoroughly outplayed yesterday afternoon–the Lightning recorded 52 shots against Igor Shesterkin–there is now some momentum for the defending champs.
Perhaps more notably, should it get to that point, is a report from David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period that the Stanley Cup Final will start on either June 15 or June 18. That could potentially give someone like Point plenty of time to get back to health before the series starts, should they be able to get past the young, upstart Rangers squad.
Given that the Conference Finals could potentially be over by June 9, that would be nearly a week before the final kicked off, long enough to mend many of the bumps and bruises that players are dealing with these days, or at least give them a brief period of relief.