Tampa Bay Lightning names Mike Smith goalie for opener; center Dominic Moore might play
Tampa Bay Lightning coach Guy Boucher said Mike Smith will be the starting goaltender for Saturday's opener against the Thrashers.
Center Dominic Moore practiced Friday and looked speedy, and while Boucher did not say he definitely will play, it sounds as if that is how he is leaning. Good thing he's getting healthy because Boucher said center Nate Thompson is questionable with a groin strain sustained in Thursday's practice.
Smith, however, is definite. Boucher said Smith was "solid" in his two preseason games, and besides, he is the incumbent.
"He as the one here last year and I want to respect that," Boucher said. "(Dan) Ellis is coming in and I think it's normal that with two equal goaltenders, I go with the guy who was here last year, who knows our barn and feels comfortable. He's been working with the team for a few years now."
Both goalies know this is a bug year for them. Not only on a personal level because both have things to prove. But because they are back-stopping a team that has a chance to get to the playoffs. And this is a goalie's league, after all.
"You still need your goaltender to be your best player," Ellis said. "You still need your goalie to control momentum to keep your team in it. It's definitely still a goaltending league."