By now LW
So after being pushed hard on the ice the past few days, Malone is set to return to the Tampa Bay Lightning lineup tonight against Winnipeg after missing 13 games with an unspecified lower body injury.
“It feels good (to get back),’’ Malone said. “I think we just kind of took our time going about the rehab properly, I think (medical trainers) Mike (Poirier) and Mully (Tom Mulligan) did a great job with everybody, so it feels good and I’m excited to get back and play every game.’’
Malone was injured during a pregame soccer warm-up prior to the Feb. 10 game at the New York Rangers. It’s something Malone has become accustomed to, never playing more than 70 games in a full season since coming to Tampa Bay prior to 2008-09. He has missed time with a myriad of injuries.
“Yeah, I’m kind of used to it, but that’s just the way it goes, but I think we did everything properly to get back to where I am now to feel good,’’ Malone said. “You don’t want to come back too early for any reason, so it’s the playoff push already? The last 25 games.”
Lightning head coach
“He hasn’t played in a long time so I have to make sure I’m smart and give him the minutes he can manage,’’ Boucher said. “It’s not about giving him tons of minutes hoping he can do the job, it’s about giving him the minutes he can manage. Obviously, he’s a power play and penalty kill guy, plays on the top two lines, but I’ll have to hold it back a little bit so he can look good when he is on the ice.’’
“He’s still day-to-day, but I can’t tell you anymore because I don’t know any more,’’ Boucher said. “