Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Lightning's Ramo not ready to concede goal to Smith

TAMPA — There is lots of fight in Karri Ramo, so it's no surprise he said he doesn't intend to let fellow Lightning goaltender Mike Smith walk off with the No.  1 job.

"I have to be strong," Ramo said Tuesday, "and show that he can't just take it."

Ramo is supposed to say such things, of course. He knows Smith, the key piece of the trade that sent Brad Richards to the Stars, was acquired to be "the guy."

But Ramo, 21, has been fairly sturdy, going 1-1-1 in his previous three starts, with a .939 save percentage and a 1.63 goals-against average, before allowing four goals on 24 shots against the Islanders.

And while Smith has shown flashes and, for the most part, has been good handling the puck, he is 1-5-0 for Tampa Bay with a 3.02 goals-against average and an .885 save percentage. And he has been just inconsistent enough stopping pucks to give the coaches pause.

"We're trying to figure out Smitty and we're trying to figure out where Ramo is in his progression," coach John Tortorella said. "There's no question we want to win. But in that situation, we have to figure out what we have with those two guys as we move forward here."

Tortorella said the goalies might split the final 12 games.

"It's my job to challenge him every night and every day in practice," Ramo said of Smith. "And when I get a chance to play, I get a chance to show my skills. I'm battling for a spot. I'm not just going to hand it over."

Ramo said his biggest improvement has been positioning: "I'm not getting beaten as much by my own mistakes. ... It's always fun to do things when something is on the line. Every day in this league you have to challenge yourself, and every day you're playing for something."

VINNY/MARTY: Center Vinny Lecavalier and right wing Marty St. Louis had two goals in a combined 24 games entering Tuesday, and the timing couldn't have been worse.

"They're two great players in this league," Tortorella said. "They have gone through a major funk at a time we've defended very well. … If we could have gotten just a little, just a goal or two from that line, I think we win probably half the games we lost here."

ODDS AND ENDS: The Lightning's 2-8-2 streak is its worst since a 1-8-2-1 stretch, March 22-April 12, 2002. … Defenseman Doug Janik was scratched. … Former Lightning Ruslan Fedotenko sustained a sprained knee in an accidental knee-to-knee hit with Tampa Bay's Jeff Halpern.

Damian Cristodero can be reached at [email protected]

Lightning's Ramo not ready to concede goal to Smith 03/12/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 12, 2008 7:33am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Cubs down Dodgers 3-2; force NLCS Game 5 Thursday


    CHICAGO — Javier Baez snapped an 0-for-20 skid with two home runs, former Ray Wade Davis hung on for a six-out save and the Cubs avoided a sweep, holding off the Dodgers 3-2 Wednesday night in Game 4 of the NL Championship Series.

  2. Bucs' Vernon Hargreaves: 'I'm not making any plays'


    TAMPA — Eli Manning gathered his receivers together on the sideline during the Giants' Week 4 game against the Bucs and told them he planned to target the weakest link of the secondary all afternoon.

    Patriots receiver Chris Hogan gets position in front of Bucs cornerback Vernon Hargreaves for a 5-yard touchdown pass in New England’s win on Oct. 5.
  3. Lightning's J.T. Brown to stop anthem protest, focus on community involvement

    Lightning Strikes

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — Lightning wing J.T. Brown will no longer raise his first as a protest during the national anthem before games.

    J.T. Brown says he will work more with the Tampa police and groups that serve at-risk young people.
  4. Signs point to Jameis Winston dressing vs. Bills


    TAMPA — The Bucs didn't sign another quarterback Wednesday, which would suggest they are confident that Jameis Winston can be active as a backup to Ryan Fitzpatrick on Sunday at Buffalo if he doesn't start.

  5. FSU doesn't feel need for ongoing reminder of last year's beatdown at Louisville


    Of course Florida State remembers what happened against Louisville last year. The 63-20 loss was one of the worst defeats in Seminoles history.

    Louisville's Lamar Jackson looks back at the action from the sidelines during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Murray State, Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)