Decision on goalie Smith after deadline
Lightning goaltender Mike Smith flew with the team to Vancouver to meet with chiropractor Don Grant to see if anything can be done about accelerating Smith's recovery from a concussion. Trainer Tommy Mulligan said Smith, hurt Dec. 2 against the Flyers when run over by teammate Vinny Prospal, is "going in the right direction."
Mulligan said Grant is someone with whom Smith has worked in the past. Smith flew back to Tampa from Vancouver and was not available for comment.
As for Smith's future, it is getting more and more likely he likely will be shut down for the rest of the season. Coach Rick Tocchet said that conversation likely will happen after Wednesday's trade deadline. Personally, with 19 games left, doesn't seem to make a lot of sense pushing Smith to play a couple of games. He has missed 12 since revealing his symptoms to the club on Jan. 30.
Other stuff from this morning: Karri Ramo gets the start in net. ... Left wing Gary Roberts, 42, on rumors he could be dealt to the Flames, where he began his career and with whom he won the 1989 Stanley Cup, said, "Obviously, to finish my career as a Calgary Flame, it would be exciting for me, sure. It would be a nice way to finish it." ... Former Lightning enforcer Andre Roy, now with the Flames, said he wants to play in today's game but needs clearance because of his concussion symptoms. Funny, the first thing Roy said when we spoke Saturday was how much he is looking forward to the March 5 game at Philadelphia and facing Riley Cote. You recall last season, of course, when Cote beat Roy badly in a fight and then Roy made throat-slashing gestures at the Flyers players after the Flyers scoreboard kept replaying the fight. ... Former Lightning defenseman Cory Sarich, also with the Flames, said about watching the Lightning franchise struggle. "With what we had, it's a little bit sad to see it dissolve as quickly as it has. Just seeing what's going on, I'm pretty happy to be located elsewhere." ... Tocchet for the first time as an NHL coach faces Mike Keenan, his first coach as a player with the Flyers. "He was a very high motivator," Tocchet said. "He would get every level out of you. He scared us but we had a lot of success with him and had a good team." And a fit team as Keenan was one of the first coaches, Tocchet said, to embrace conditioning. "We had a lot of on-ice work with weight belts. We did stuff no one did. That's why that first year, 113 points, we were in incredible shape. We could sustain three periods of intense hockey." Tocchet said he is a "big fan" of Flames captain Jarome Iginla, who needs two goals for 400 and two points to break Theo Fleury's team record of 830 points. "The thing I like about him is he gets a lot of deflection goals," Tocchet said. "I think that's an underrated stat nowadays." ... Defenseman Lukas Krajicek (illness) will be a game-time decision.