Tampa Bay Lightning sticking with Dwayne Roloson in net until eliminated from playoffs
It may not be until next week that we see Sebastien Caron in net for the Tampa Bay Lightning as the team will stay with Dwayne Roloson in net until it is officially eliminated from the playoffs.
"Well ... yeah," coach Guy Boucher said when asked if that was going to be the case.
The Lightning can be eliminated as soon as Saturday. With six games left, the best Tampa Bay can do is 89 points. The Sabres, who own the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference have 86 points, so any combination of four points gained by the Sabres an/or lost by the Lightning signals the official end of the dream for Tampa Bay.
"It's more than that, though," Boucher said about sticking with Roloson, who is 3-1-0 in his past four starts with a 2.94 goals-against average and .919 save percentage. "He's played well and given us a chance to win every game. In the meantime, Caron is practicing with NHLers. He's getting his NHL timing back, so when he's in nets, he'd be more prepared."
Caron, signed on March 19 because of the injury to Mathieu Garon, was supposed to start Tuesday against the Bruins but ended up as backup because of Roloson's hot streak. He said he is cool with whatever decisions Boucher makes about his playing time.
"I'm here to support everybody and whenever they tell me to play, I'm playing," Caron said. "My job is to be prepared and see what's going to happen."
Other stuff from the morning skate: The agent for newly signed forward J.T. Brown said his client obtained his passport and is flying to Tampa to join the team Friday. Expect him to play Saturday at the Tampa Bay Times Forum against the Jets. Obtaining the passport so Brown could travel with the team next week to Canada was the only issue that could have delayed his Lightning debut. ... As expected, captain Vinny Lecavalier will play after missing 18 games with a fractured right hand. Just as interesting, though, is that Lecavalier admitted for the first time his surgically repaired right shoulder, which was dislocated and sustained a torn labrum in April 2008, has only this season finally been back to normal. And that is because the nine brackets that were inserted to hold the shoulder in place were so tight, the shoulder lost flexibility that only this season has really returned. "Oh, my God, they just put it in there really tight," Lecavalier said. "They wanted to make sure it didn't come out again. For two years it felt like it was coming forward. (As a demonstration, Lecavalier rolled his shoulder forward). Even during the night I could feel it pushing forward. I worked on it all summer, and if I didn't work on it for two weeks it felt like it was moving forward and felt like it was stuck. Not that it was hurting, but it felt a little restricted. This is the first year the shoulder feels pretty good." ... Center Nate Thompson will miss his seventh game with an upper body injury, but sounded as if he will play Saturday at home against the Jets. ... The question, again, came up for both Lecavalier and Thompson about playing this season; that is, is it worth it? Both said it is. "I'm ready to play and it happened that there are six games left," Lecavalier said. "It could have been one game, three games. When you're ready to come back, you come back. These guys have been working so hard the last month or so, and I wanted to come and play and have some fun and play the game and finish the season strong." Added Thompson: "If you're healthy, there's no point not playing. We're all competitive guys. We want to finish the season playing." ... Here's a couple good stats provided by Stats Inc.: Steven Stamkos has four months this season in which he scored at least 10 goals. Since 1992-93, only Teemu Selanne and Alexander Mogilny have more in one season with five. ... In his past 248 starts, Devils goaltender Marty Brodeur has allowed two hat tricks to Joffrey Lupul and Marty St. Louis. ... Finally, Brodeur's 35 wins over the Lightning are 10 more than any other goalie (25 by Olaf Kolzig).