Holmqvist is the man

29

March

Don't have this on any official authority but I'd say it's a pretty good bet Johan Holmqvist will start the final five games of the regular season. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out Marc Denis blew his best chance to be considered the team's No. 1 with the way he played in his past two games. Can you imagine? The guy outplays Martin Brodeur and then bites it against the Senators and Panthers, allowing eight goals on 40 shots. That kind of instability cannot happen in a playoff run, so I bet Holmqvist, unless he completely falls apart, starts the rest of the season.

This has advantages on several levels. Holmqvist knows that even if he lets in one or two bad goals, he is not in danger of being removed. That is good for his head. And the players know the position will no longer be a swinging door. It is big for Holmqvist as well. The Lightning wants to sign him again and the team will have to pay a lot more if he shows he can handle the pressure of a late-season push and a playoff run. Whatever happens, it will be interesting to see.

So it took 77 games but the Lightning finally will have a No. 1 goalie.

As for Denis, the guy works so hard I can't believe the results were so bad. But, geez, he left a gap a mile wide between his legs on Olli Jokinen's goal Tuesday and allowed Jokinen to score even though defenseman Shane O'Brien had hold of one of Jokinen's arms. And how about a poke check instead of staying back in the crease? Easy for me to say, I know. But I'm not getting paid almost $3-million  a year, either.      

[Last modified: Sunday, August 16, 2009 4:37pm]

    

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