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Is the Tampa Bay Lightning close to calling up G Dustin Tokarski from AHL Norfolk?



It may not happen right away (it actually may not happen at all) but it is not a stretch to believe that if Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Dwayne Roloson continues struggling, GM Steve Yzerman might soon bring goaltender Dustin Tokarski up from AHL Norfolk for a couple-game look-see.

It makes sense. Tokarski this season has solidified himself as Tampa Bay’s top goaltending prospect (there was a notion for a while that Jaroslav Janus had passed him) and the Lightning going forward has to know where his development stands. And, truthfully, given Roloson’s numbers (a 3.67 goals-against average and .882 save percentage), the Lightning might feel the time is right.

This was actually an important year for Tokarski, 22, who missed most of training camp because of an abdominal injury sustained late last season and which required two MRI exams to confirm surgery was not necessary. Tokarski is 10-6-0 with a 2.43 goals-against average and .901 save percentage. But in his last 14 games he is 9-5-0 with a 1.94, two shutouts and .918 save percentage.

One thing to say for Roloson, he answered every question the other day about his slump, and was on the ice at today’s practice competing with enthusiasm and focus. He also has gotten raves from his coaches for his work ethic at practice.

But the Lightning has some big decisions to make about its goaltending, not just in the short term but the long term. Getting a look at Tokarski now will help with that assessment.

[Last modified: Wednesday, December 14, 2011 12:12pm]


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