Tampa Bay Lightning goalie Mike Smith is run over in practice, passes "test"
It was difficult to tell if Tampa Bay Lightning forward Steve Downie could have slowed down and or stopped before he ran over goalie Mike Smith during Monday's practice. Either way, Smith, who perhaps is a little sensitive to getting plowed given his concussion history and that he has not played in six games because of a neck strain caused by being run over by Capitals defenseman Brooks Laich, took a couple swipes at Downie's head as they lay on the ice.
It was quite a sight, really, as Smith took a couple of pokes at Downie after Downie, going to the net in a practice drill, skated over Smith. The confrontation did not develop into anything except the two trading nice language as Downie skated away. Later, in the locker room, it didn't seem as Smith was so much upset by being hit but that he said he didn't recall any Lightning players bowling over opponent goaltenders this season.
"Do it to the other goalies," said Smith, who has had his share of body contact this season.
Ultimately, Smith, who will at least be on the bench Wednesday against the Canadiens (it seems as if Antero Niittymaki will start) was able to joke about the whole thing, saying Downie was "just testing" him.
"I passed," Smith said.
Generally, Smith said, "I feel a lot better today," adding, "I've got my wind back."
Also, left wing Stephane Veilleux sat out with a leg injury. ... And here's a nice tidbit from STATS, LLC: Steven Stamkos, 19, with his 50th career goal on Saturday joined a pretty exclusive club of players who scored 50 goals as teenagers and didn't turn 20 until 1989-90 season or later. Sidney Crosby (75), Ilya Kovalchuk (67), Rick Nash (58), Trevor Linden (51) and Jaromir Jagr (50) are the others.