In Friday’s win over the New York Islanders, Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Anton Stralman suffered a lower-body injury in the first period that saw him removed from the game.
After the game, the team announced that he had suffered a non-displaced fracture of his left fibula. That will keep him out indefinitely, the team announced, with coach Jon Cooper saying that “Anton’s season is not over.” He isn’t going to be back during the regular season, but the team has left open the possibility of him return during the postseason.
“It’s a battle, probably just unfortunate the way the whole thing went down,” Cooper said after the game. “He caught his toe in the ice and that effected the part of what happened to him. I don’t look at the guy, Lee and say he was trying to do that. He’s battling for position in front, so was Strals and the way it ended up was really unfortunate.”
Here’s the battle Cooper refers to. Stralman takes an ugly fall after getting his leg caught underneath himself.
Through 72 games, Stralman has put up his eighth straight season of positive relative possession with a 4.3% score-adjusted CF%Rel. He has also tied a career-high with nine goals and added 25 assists on top of that. His 22:20 of ice time per game is the second most on the team.
Stralman’s absence likely means that Nikita Nesterov draws back into the lineup, and gets a chance at making it stick.
#tblightning Hedman said Stralman is in good spirits, staying positive w injury. "He's a calm Swedish guy." Sounds a lot like Hedman, too.
— Joe Smith (@JoeSmithTB) March 26, 2016
Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.