Tampa Bay Lightning G Mike Smith getting closer to the action; D Marc-Andre Bergeron hurt
A pretty quiet day with the Tampa Bay Lightning other than coach Guy Boucher talking about returning some Christmas presents before taking off for Atlanta and Thursday night's game with the Thrashers. But there were a couple of developments worth noting.
Goaltender Mike Smith is expected, perhaps as soon as today, to be cleared to play and taken off injured reserve. That would be both good and bad news for the Lightning; good because Smith, out since Dec. 20 with a sprained left knee, had played so well in the two games before he was hurt. You recall Smith stopped 49 of 51 shots in wins over the Thrashers and Sabres. The bad part, if you want to call it that, is that it brings closer the day Boucher might have to manage three goalies. We don't know what the future holds or how GM Steve Yzerman might do, but a three goalies on the roster will be awkward.
The other news is that newly signed defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron was held out of AHL Norfolk's game on Tuesday because of a what the team called a contusion to his right knee sustained Sunday against Charlotte. That is the same knee that needed reconstructive surgery over the summer which Bergeron is supposed to be testing before an eventual call-up to Tampa Bay. But Norfolk spokesman Keith Phillips reassured the injury is only a contusion and Bergeron, a power-play specialist Boucher really wants in the lineup, was held out only as a precaution. The Admirals play next on Friday. We'll see if he plays. And we also should know more soon about goaltender Cedrick Desjardins, who has an unspecified upper-body injury also sustained Sunday.