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Denis, Holmqvist will start the season



This isn't a huge surprise, but it is official. The Lightning sent goaltender Karri Ramo back to AHL Norfolk today, meaning Marc Denis and Johan Holmqvist will start the season as Tampa Bay's top two goalies.

Ramo had a good camp, but give big ups to Denis, who came into camp with huge baggage and shading his eyes from a bright spotlight and twas nothing but focused and professional. He also was the Lightning's best goalie. Denis was 1-0-1 and stopped 46 of 49 shots for a .939 save percentage and 2.00 goals-against average. He was superb Thursday in Detroit, making 11 saves in 19:40 of work after entering the game in the third period.

I think he has handled this so professionally,'' GM Jay Feaster said. "Throughout last season he was the consummate pro and ultimate team guy, and he understood what was at stake and worked hard this summer and went about his business and was all business. I tip my hat to him, and good for him.''

Ramo, 21, is still considered Tampa Bay's goaltender of the future. As Feaster said, it's not a question of "if" but "when.''

"If you're going to unseat one of the incumbents, you have to have something above and beyond a very good camp, or one of those guys would have to stumble,'' Feaster said. "And that didn't happen.''

That leaves 26 players in camp. The Lightning wants to get down to 22. That includes 20 active players (12 forwards, six defensemen and two goalies) plus injured Dan Boyle and Ryan Craig, both of whom will be put on injured reserve before the Oct. 2 deadline to submit rosters to the league.

Only intrigue left is if MIke Lundin or Matt Smaby gets the No. 6 defensive position (Lundin favored) and if Craig MacDonald or Mathieu Darche gets the last forward spot (MacDonald favored).        

[Last modified: Sunday, August 16, 2009 4:38pm]


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