TAMPA – Tampa Bay Lightning Center Brayden Point suffered a major tear in his right quadriceps, but should be fully recovered within a few weeks.
Point was injured in the first period of Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Round 1 against the Toronto Maple Leafs on May 14. He was chasing the puck down the ramp in the offensive zone, when the Maple Leafs defenseman Mark Giordano attempted to put his stick on the puck. Giordano instead hit Point’s right leg, which bent under his weight as he collided with the boards.
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He missed the next 10 games before returning for the first two games of the Stanley Cup Final against the Colorado Avalanche. Point was taken out of the lineup after Game 2 and did not play for the rest of the series.
« The guys did a great job and they gave me the chance to play a few games, » Point said. It was hard to just watch the guys and see all the effort they put in. It really is a special group. »
Point had an assist in Game 1 of the Finals and finished the playoffs with five points (two goals, three assists) in nine games. He says he didn’t aggravate his injury playing those two games, but he was unable to play at the level he was used to.
« I’ve been a victim of tears in the past that still allowed me to find my rhythm, to play and to be efficient, » said Point. But this one was different. I had no power, and I struggled with sharp turns and things like that…the kind of thing I have to be able to do to be effective, especially in the Stanley Cup Finals. »
Point’s absence is part of the reason why the Lightning failed in their bid to win the Stanley Cup for the third straight year. He led the NHL with 14 goals in each of the team’s wins in 2020 and 2021.
His injury is one of several announced by Tampa Bay as part of its season-ending meetings Tuesday.
Pierre-Édouard Bellemare suffered a knee meniscus injury before the start of the playoffs and will have to undergo surgery. Anthony Cirelli will also have to go under the knife because of a sprained right shoulder suffered in the Eastern Conference final against the New York Rangers. Cirelli also dislocated his left shoulder in the final against Colorado. Nick Paul and Corey Perry also suffered a sprained shoulder.
Paul and Nikita Kucherov also suffered a medial collateral ligament sprain during the Stanley Cup Final. Brandon Hagel was bothered by a broken foot suffered when he blocked a shot in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Round 2 against the Florida Panthers. Ryan McDonagh meanwhile played despite a finger injury, the result of a blocked shot in the Eastern final.
» [Point] should fully recover, like all our other players, said Lightning general manager Julien BriseBois. In Point’s case, it’s probably a matter of weeks. »
The Captain of Tampa Bay Steven Stamkos assured that his teammates can be proud of the physical sacrifices they made en route to their third straight appearance in the Stanley Cup Final.
« Of our three courses, this is the one we can be most proud of, even though we didn’t win, because of everything we’ve been through to get here, » Stamkos said. I’m extremely proud of what the guys have accomplished. They played even though they were annoyed by several things, but those are the expectations in this group. It’s pretty special when the guys are ready to do anything to win. »