A pinched nerve in the neck of Simon Gagne has sidelined the scoring winger from the Lightning line-up for one game (Saturday night versus the Senators) and is also expected to keep him out of the line-up for Tuesday's game at home to the Islanders. Gagne had already missed out on 11 games with the same injury this season and likely stands to miss a bit more time.
With the team in such good shape for the playoffs, they may be wise to just give him as much time as he need to get back to 100%, getting ready for a lengthy playoff run. As important as home-ice advantage may be, a healthy line-up would go further, especially in road games.
In what was possibly thought as a good environment, Gagne has not had the kind of season some thought he might have with a ton of talent around him in Tampa. Including the injury situation, Gagne has only played in 53 games, scoring 12 goals and 16 assists, for a scoring pace a shade over half a point-per-game. He currently ranks 269th in pool scoring, continuing a decline in his pool rankings.
In the draft, Gagne is a part of Dale B.'s 6th place team, a team that is currently on the rise in the standings, trying to make that late charge for a money position. In Week Twenty-Four, Dale's team has picked up 27 points, a pretty good total with only a few games left to go. His team is 11 points out of 5th and 13 points out of 4th, so there is a definite chance for a shocking decision.
Gagne is included in the Tampa Bay Lightning lines on the playoff pool sheet, where he sits in Box 18. When there is a restriction on the number of players you can have from one team, it will make a huge difference.
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