Is it time for Karri Ramo?
Well, let's see, Johan Holmqvist, the Lightning's No. 1 goalie, has been pulled in three of his past four starts; he allowed three goals on nine shots in the first period against the Thrashers. He and Marc Denis have allowed 28 goals in their past six games, five of which Tampa Bay has lost.
Holmqvist entered Tuesday with an .891 save percentage that was 36th out of 39 listed goaltenders.His 2.94 goals -against average was 34th. The Lightning, as a team, entered Tuesday second to last with a 3.21 goals-against average and last with an .882 save percentage.
We've heard a lot about how Karri Ramo, toiling for AHL Norfolk, is NHL ready. At this point, it doesn't seem like an outrageous idea to give him a chance. Whispers are he would have been up sooner had he not injured his ankle in the first game of the Admirals' season.
A consideration would be whether the organization was willing to have $2.8-million of Marc Denis' salary in the minors. But having Denis play could be the best thing. He could rehabilitate himself in a sense and, perhaps, another team, in time, would claim him on recall waivers for half his salary.
Beyond that, though, perhaps it is time to try to develop Ramo. It's a tough call sometimes when you have a raw talent. You don't want to throw him to the wolves, so to speak, and hurt his confidence and his development if he does not do well. But the word on Ramo, 21, is that he is mentally tough and confident and has the skills.
Maybe it's time to see what he can do in the NHL.
ROSTER FREEZE: The holiday roster freeze goes into effect at midnight Thursday. No roster additions can be made until midnight Dec. 28 except for emergency call-ups because of injury.