Jeannot Injury Could Hurt Lightning’s Chances of Another Deep Playoff Run


Coming off three straight deep playoff runs, the Tampa Bay Lightning entered the 2022-23’ season, hoping to go deep once again.

As they entered the New Year and beyond, it became obvious that they lacked the grit and physicality needed to beat the East’s top teams in a seven game series.

That prompted general manager Julien Brisebois to make a somewhat risky trade, acquiring gritty forward Tanner Jeannot from the Nashville Predators in exchange for defenseman Cal Foote and five draft picks over the next three years.

Jeannot struggled to adjust to the Lightning’s style of play early, but by the end of March, he looked to have settled into playing alongside Corey Perry and Pierre Edouard Bellemare on the fourth line.

He scored a goal, his first as a Bolt, in the April 1 game against the New York Islanders. That culminated in a strong week for both he and the Lightning, with three straight wins in which they physically set the tone early and played well in all phases of the game.

Unfortunately, the Lightning suffered a huge blow early in the April 6 rematch against the Islanders at UBS Arena. Jeannot got tangled up along the boards with Scott Mayfield and went down awkwardly. Mayfield then fell on top of him, so the trade deadline acquisition bore the weight of both players.

Initially, the fear was that Jeannot was done for the season. After consulting with doctors in Tampa, however, there’s a glimmer of hope. He’s considered week to week and will not be ready for Game One of the playoffs, but might play at any point after that, according to Lightning coach Jon Cooper.

While that should provide some hope, there’s no telling how effective Jeannot will be if he returns. The team has struggled to impose their will on opponents and establish themselves as a threat since his injury, resulting in three straight losses. Two of those defeats were embarrassments, while the most recent one demonstrated how much they need a healthy Jeannot on the ice.

Playoffs are a different animal. Health is paramount to a team winning the Stanley Cup or even going deep. The fact the Lightning made it to the Cup Final last year without Brayden Point was a testament to their resiliency in the face of adversity.

That isn’t the norm, though. Most times, injuries end a team’s playoff run early. Considering the Lightning’s lack of rest the past three seasons, the loss of one of their few fresh players could spell the end for a team that ten months ago came within a game of becoming a modern-day dynasty.

Stanley Cup Aspirations Cue’ the Duck Boats Pod

The boys are back after a long break but have plenty to talk about as the playoffs are in full swing. We go series by series, looking at how teams have fared so far and who will come out on top. Thanks for listening! Please rate and review our show on your favorite listening platform. Check out our partner's website at for all your latest hockey news.
  1. Stanley Cup Aspirations
  2. The Final Countdown
  3. Here Come the Playoffs
  4. Home Stretch
  5. Kevy Cooks

Lauren Burg

Lauren Burg is a Tampa Bay Lightning writer for “Inside the Rink.” A lifelong Tampa Bay Area resident, she graduated from the University of South Florida’s world-renowned journalism program in December 2009. While in college, she discovered hockey and the Tampa Bay Lightning. She quickly became a passionate fan, attending many games over the years. She also experienced an All-Star game in 2018, numerous road games, and, most recently, the Bolts back-to-back Stanley Cup championships. Since graduating college, she’s been working hard to combine her two loves, writing and hockey, hoping to one day make that her full-time career. In her free time, she enjoys attending sporting events (both home & road when possible), taking photos, and traveling.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Stanley Cup on display on ice

NHL: A Hater’s Guide to the Stanley Cup Final

If you’re finding it difficult to get behind the Panthers or Golden Knights, here are a few reasons to cheer against them. If you’re a Florida Panthers or Vegas Golden Knights fan, you have every reason to tune in when the Stanley Cup Final begins on June 3. You’re one of the lucky ones whose team made it. […]

Read More

Questions Ahead as Championship Duo Enters Pivotal 23-24 Season

The formidable ‘Holy Trinity’ in hockey is a team that covets a: world-class goaltender, defenseman, and centerman. It is a recipe that has a proven track record, with the 2012-14 championship era LA Kings as a perfect example. They weren’t a juggernaut regular season team but were systematic in a seven-game series. The Kings won […]

Read More

2023 NHL Draft Prospect Profile: Jakub Dvorak

The Scouting Report: Jakub Dvorak from Liberec, Czechzia, born on May 25th, 2005, is your typical shutdown defenseman in the 2023 NHL entry draft. What will draw Jakub Dvorak some major interest come draft day is his size. Listed at 6’5″ and 203 pounds, you don’t typically find players with his size and skillset available […]

Read More