TAMPA — During his first call up, D Dmitry Korobov spent two weeks with the team, practicing, traveling and getting his first look at life in the NHL while making his NHL debut on Nov. 19 in Los Angeles.
“Just to get your first NHL game out of the way, that’s the big thing, so . . . he’s a vet now,’’ Lightning head coach Jon Cooper said.
Korobov was recalled from Syracuse of the American Hockey League on Friday for his second stint with Tampa Bay this season. Though the 24-year-old appeared in just the one game, logging 13:21 of ice time, being around the team, getting acclimated to a new situation and being on the ice with NHL players proved a beneficial opportunity.
“How can it not (be a benefit),’’ Cooper said. “And the one thing is, it’s not like he doesn’t know me, he played for me last year, so he knows the style of play, he knows what to expect and what we expect from him, so from that aspect it was OK for him. But the one thing is when you walk into the room with Marty St. Louis, Steven Stamkos, Victor Hedman, and just go down the list and get acclimated to these guys and not walk into the room and say “Wow, I watched these guys on TV forever and now I’m in the same locker room as them’. That’s the one thing you have to get over when you come into our room. So I think pretty much our guys are past that now.’’
D Eric Brewer skated with the team during Saturday’s morning skate while wearing a red jersey, indicating an injured player. Brewer was placed on injured reserve retroactive to Dec. 21 after suffering an undisclosed upper body injury which makes him eligible to be activated from IR as soon as Sunday.
After skating before the team on Friday, Brewer took part in drills during the skate on Saturday morning, and though he’s not expected to be ready to play on Sunday against the New York Rangers, he is expected to join the team for the upcoming four-game road trip to Western Canada which begins New Year’s Day in Vancouver and could be ready to return at some point during the trip.
“It’s good, we are just trying to feel it out,’’ Brewer said. “It’s better, it’s just not there yet. When I’m close, I’ll not be wearing a red jersey.’’
NUTS AND BOLTS
D Sami Salo (upper body) did not skate with the team and remains day-to-day. Salo was injured during Monday’s game at Florida. ... Cooper said he was undecided as to the lineup for Saturday and planned to skate 21 players during warmups before decided who would be scratched, though LW Pierre-Cedric Labrie was on the ice late and is expected to sit out.