SUNRISE FL - DECEMBER 17: Drew Stafford #21 and Thomas Vanek #26 of the Buffalo Sabres skate after the puck with Jason Garrison #52 of the Florida Panthers on December 17 2010 at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise Florida. The Panthers defeated the Sabres 6-2. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
With Florida's Dmitry Kulikov (bruised ribs) joining Bryan McCabe (facial surgery, broken finger) in the pressbox - for a night, at least - fellow d-man Jason Garrison (groin) may be the final cog in an ill-timed Triumvirate Of Pain thanks to yet another bout with a sour groin. Joe Callahan has been recalled from Rochester, ostensibly to cover Kuli's absence, but if Garrison is indeed laid up Friday the Cats will be forced into either another recall or playing with a contingent of five defenseman. Against the Lightning. The Southeast division-leading Lightning.
The Amerks currently have seven blueliners on their roster, though two of them - Clay Wilson and Mike Kostka - share the team lead in points (28) now that winger Michal Repik is sidelined. Saddled with a five-game losing streak, and three matches over the same number of nights beginning Thursday, don't expect a flowery voice at the Rochester end of the line when requesting that sixth defenseman, Mr. T. And that's if they answer at all.
All of this prompted a peek at what Florida's seven most recent defensemen have been up to on the scoresheet over each individual's past ten games. Quite the chunk of rather important attributes lost in a matter of days...
* = Leads FLA defense
FWIW, Callahan has 11 points (3 goals) and a -11 in 43 games with ROC; he logged 2 games with the Panthers earlier this season, scoring no points, 3 hits, 2 blocked shots, 1 SOG and an even +/-.