The long layoff for the Lightning proved beneficial for injured LW Simon Gagne, who missed the final three games of the series against Washington. Gagne suffered a likely head injury when his head hit the ice in the first period of Game 1 against the Capitals following a clean hit from Scott Hannan and did not return. He reported the next day that he felt fine and was not suffering any of the normal symptoms associated with a concussion. And though he has yet to return to practice, he is expected back on the ice with the team this morning. Sunday morning Gagne skated on his own with strength coach Chuck Lobe under the eye of team assistant medical trainer Mike Poirier, going through sprint drills and some puck work. "He could have practiced with the team today, but since we are not going to play before Thursday, or maybe even before Saturday, we didn't want him out with the team, so tomorrow he'll be practicing with the team," Lightning head coach Guy Boucher said Sunday. "He is feeling very good, chances are he'll be playing." That is not the case for D Pavel Kubina, however, who also suffered a likely head injury in Game 1 against Washington when he was led into the end boards by the elbow of Washington RW Jason Chimera at the end of the second period. Kubina has not been back on the ice since and it seems unlikely he'll be available when the team travels to Boston to start the Eastern Conference finals sometime later this week.
Time off helping Gagne
Tampa Tribune | May 9