Goaltender Mike Smith clears waivers (updated)
Goaltender Mike Smith cleared re-entry waivers. He drove back to Tampa from Norfolk and will dress as a backup tonight against the Devils, coach Guy Boucher said.
What does this mean for newly acquired goaltender Curtis McElhinney? Probably that he will be put on waivers with the intent of sending him to the minors. Unless someone wants to trade for him, which, given his numbers lately, is probably unlikely.
More stuff from the morning skate: As expected, Dwayne Roloson gets the start in net. ... McElhinney showed some class in addressing his situation. "For the time being I'm here," he said. "Try to fit in, get comfortable and make the best of the situation." ... D Mike Lundin apparently is getting closer to returning. Boucher said Lundin, who will miss his eighth game tonight with what is believed an abdominal injury, likely will practice with the team next week. A timetable to get him back on the ice will be determined from those workouts. ... The Devils are on an amazing 16-1-2 streak and have won eight straight. Boucher could not say enough about the team, calling it the most patient in the league with the puck. "They're extremely disciplined in their structure," Boucher said. "Nobody gets out of their structure and that's very rare. They're all in sync and that's the greatest strength that Jacques (coach, Lemaire) has. They're all on the same page and they don't give anything." ... Boucher predicted a 1-0 or 2-1 game. ... Here's an interesting stat: left wing Sean Bergenheim has four goals and two assists in his past six games, but also 19 shots. It took Bergenheim 15 previous games to get 19 shots. Boucher said part of it is putting the player in the right spot. In this case that is on a third line with center Dominic Moore and right wing Adam Hall. But Bergenheim said he believes a bigger part was the illness he battled after Christmas and through January. "Getting that energy back, that's the biggest thing getting back to the game I was playing," Bergenheim said. ... That line of Moore with wins Bergenheim and Hall was put together when center Nate Thompson was out with concussion-like symptoms. And while it has broken up the very effective line of Thompson with Hall and Dana Tyrell, Boucher said he's not touching Moore's line right now. "It's playing against the first lines, playing in the offensive zone. It's doing all the details right defensively, and it brings so much energy." ... Lot of love from Boucher to GM Steve Yzerman. "I had a shopping list and the shopping list has almost been filled," Boucher said of the roster additions of Roloson and defensmen Marc-Andre Bergeron and Eric Brewer. "Since this summer when you look at everything we needed, everything has fallen into place or we wouldn't be here. The choices he's made and the way he's done it, I'm quite impressed."