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Tampa Bay Lightning 'considering' calling someone up from minors

TAMPA — Given the Lightning's uneven play recently, it might be close to promoting a player from AHL Norfolk.

"It's definitely something to consider at this time," GM Steve Yzerman said Thursday. "How do we make our team better? How can we play better? We've got some guys in the minors who could potentially help us."

Yzerman said he won't bring up a player to just shake things up.

"I'm going to call somebody up because it's the right thing to do," he said. "They're going to go in the lineup and play."

Who is most likely to be called up? Process of elimination says it might be RW Dana Tyrell.

F Carter Ashton is having a terrific season with 11 goals and 17 points in 16 games, and LW Cory Conacher has eight goals and a team-best 18 points in 15 games.

But Ashton is "learning his trade" in his first full AHL season, Lightning coach Guy Boucher said. And Conacher has a minor-league contract. Tyrell, 22, played last season with the Lightning, so the team knows what he brings — energy and reliability — and he does not need to go through waivers to be recalled.

If a player comes up, one likely will go down. Who is most at risk? Again, read between the lines.

F Blair Jones, who made the team because of his strong finish last season with Norfolk, his gritty postseason for the Lightning and because he came to camp in tremendous shape, has just one assist in 10 games while averaging 7:15 of ice time. Eight times he has been scratched.

Bottom line, Yzerman said of a possible move: "I can't say I'm entirely pleased with how we're playing, so it's a consideration."

CENTURY MARK: When Boucher was told he would coach his 100th regular-season game Thursday, he celebrated with a mocking "whoopee-do."

Seriously, Boucher said the 100 games demonstrated how the NHL is unlike any other league.

"Circumstances can have a much greater impact in this league than in junior or other leagues," he said. "If you're tired, you're not the same team at all; the size difference between your team and another team.

"You can get away with that in the lower ranks and other leagues, but in the NHL it's incredible. You make a mistake or have a weakness, you're in major trouble because most teams are pretty much equal."

Said Yzerman of Boucher, who is 55-32-13: "He's learned a lot in these 100 games about what works and what doesn't. He's doing very well, and I think he's going to continue getting better."

MEDICAL MATTERS: LW Ryan Malone (upper body) missed his fourth straight game but said he might play Saturday against the Devils. … RW Teddy Purcell played after missing Wednesday's practice with a stomach virus. Purcell said he woke about 6 a.m. Tuesday and began vomiting.

ODDS AND ENDS: The Lightning scored two power-play goals, one fewer than the Penguins, with the league's top penalty kill, had allowed all season. … Pittsburgh was 0-for-7 on the power play. … RW Adam Hall won 10 of 12 faceoffs. … Rays OF Matt Joyce, on the ice before the game, received a Lightning jersey. … D Bruno Gervais was scratched, meaning Boucher reverted to a lineup of 12 forwards and six defensemen.

Tampa Bay Lightning 'considering' calling someone up from minors 11/17/11 [Last modified: Friday, November 18, 2011 12:18am]
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