BY: John Mamola /

Tampa Bay Lightning Captain Martin St. Louis missed practice on Wednesday morning at the Tampa Bay Times Forum and was seen in a walking boot with what the team classified as a lower body injury.  Lightning Head Coach Jon Cooper telling WDAE’s ‘The Sports Page’ program Thursday morning that St. Louis could be back on the ice tonight against the Minnesota Wild.

“To tell you the truth, he could be back as early as tonight” said Cooper.  “I’m the coach, I’m not the doctor so I can’t say for sure how things are going.  I basically look at them and say can you play or not.  That decision will be made around 5 o’clock tonight.”

St. Louis told Cooper yesterday following practice not to count him out for a game, but the team is electing to wait it out and made a decision before game time.  The Lightning called up Brett Connolly from Syracuse on Wednesday afternoon to take the roster spot in case St. Louis cannot go.

As for the play of Cooper’s goaltenders Ben Bishop and Anders Lindback, the second year head coach is very happy to have his dynamic duo playing well early in the season.

“The thing is with Ben, he’s just played exceptional” said Cooper.  “I expect this to be a pretty good goalie battle between the two of them, but in the early stages Ben has really shown some results and we expect him to play especially in games where we don’t have the back-to-back.”

Cooper added “In the sense right now that we have these days off in between, it’s easier to go with one guy right now and Ben has earned them (starts).”