Injuries mount and moves to be made
The Lightning beat the Predators 4-1 on Friday night but sustained a lot of nicks and bumps for the efforts.
Goalie Mike Smith apparently sustained some kind of lower body injury that was not revealed until Saturday. He did not practice. Defenseman Lukas Krajicek also has a lower body injury and did not practice. Coach Rick Tocchet said neither will dress Sunday against the Devils.
That means goalie Karri Ramo will be brought up from AHL Norfolk and a defenseman. Lightning coach Rick Tocchet said it could be either Jamie Heward or Andrew Hutchinson as both are right-handed shots.
With the Lightning already at the 23-man roster limit, two corresponding moves will have to be made to create room. Tocchet said center Chris Gratton (knee) and LW Gary Roberts (upper body) likely will go on injured reserve, which means they are unavailable for at least seven days from their start dates, which could be retroactive. Gratton actually practiced on Saturday, as did Ryan Malone, who was held out of the third period Friday as a precaution, Tocchet said. Tocchet also said Malone was fine.
Olie Kolzig will get the start in net against the Devils.
Tocchet insisted all the injuries are "not major stuff, one maybe two gems." He called Smith's injury a "nagging" ailment that he has had for several games. With the team not even practicing Monday, Tocchet said he sees this as a chance for both Smith and Krajicek to get 48 hours of therapy and get well.
Of Smith, Tocchet said, "If he had to play tomorrow, he could play. ... Let's nip it in the bud now and Olie gets some work."
Other stuff: Mike Sullivan would not confirm he is talking to the Lightning about returning as an assistant, but he did not deny it either. "You know how I operate," he said. "I'd rather not comment at all." It makes sense, though, as Tampa Bay has an assistant spot open with the firing of Barry Melrose and the promotion of Tocchet, and the Lightning already is paying him for the final year of his contract. He also played with Tocchet from 1998-2000 with the Coyotes. Sullivan said he "loved" living and working in Tampa, and has spent the down time "coaching his kids" and looking to get back into the league "as quickly as possible." ... Enforcer David Koci, claimed Thursday off waivers from the Blues practiced. He said the bouncing around does not hurt him, and might even help. "It's a life challenge and you have to learn from that," he said. "This is going to make me stronger in the future and make me an even better player. For the the mental side of the game it's good. You learn how to stay mentally tough, don't let other things matter. I look at it in a positive way."