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Thursday, March 8, 2012

Garon Injured and Yzerman's Mistakes Could Cost the Lightning Playoff Spot

The Lightning have been closing in on the eight and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference but now that quest could snuffed-out due to the fact that Mathieu Garon suffered a tear in his groin in Tuesday’s game against the visiting Ottawa Senators. He is expected to be out of action for three to four weeks and that puts the Lightning in an extremely compromised position because Roloson has played absolutely terrible this year—as I have discussed in other Lightning articles. Garon had taken over the starting spot from Roloson despite playing very “average” hockey himself for most of the year.

Due to Garon’s injury, the Lightning have called-up Dustin Tokarski from their AHL affiliate, the Norfolk Admirals. Tokarski is 22 years old and has only played two NHL games and they were with the Lighting back in the 2009-2010 season. He really had a tough time in those games as his Save Percentage was .813 and his GAA 4.09. Besides that, his credentials are impressive, winning Gold at the World Junior Championships in 2009 and the Memorial Cup in 2008. With the Admirals he had a bit of an off-season last year but has rebounded very well this year and in 40 games has a Save Percentage of .907, a GAA of 2.34, and four shutouts. He leads of AHL in wins with 27.

The question is:  if Roloson has to be pulled from the net or is injured can Tokarski overcome the nerves and hold the fort? What if Roloson gets hurt too?  

As the title of this article indicates, Yzerman made some terrible decisions regarding goaltending last year and those decisions are the reason why the Lightning are in a position where they have to try to come from behind and scrap for the last playoff spot. However, with Garon hurt Yzerman’s decisions look even worse and not only are his pants pulled down before the entire league and the fans—I can see the piss stains on the front of his white underwear from here—but he could prevent his team from taking hold of the final playoff spot in the East.

Yzerman’s Goalie Mistakes

I previously discussed Yzerman’s mistakes in my articles, “Goalie Gonna Need Some Shades” and “Is the Lightning Coming?” I shall recap the three foolish mistakes that Yzerman made regarding goaltending.

  1. Yzerman signed retirement-ready Dwayne Roloson to a one-year contract worth 3 million. Why pay a goalie who is unsteady and who lets in too many easy goals that kind of money? He is having a season so bad that back-up goalie Mathieu Garon was given the starting role despite not having a stellar season himself. 
  2. Yzerman did not make an effort to sign Mike Smith, who is playing superbly for the Coyotes this year.
  3. Yzerman decided not to select top goalie prospect John Gibson in last year’s draft, despite knowing that Roloson’s career was probably going to end this year. 
Well, hopefully Yzerman has learned some lessons from his mistakes, and even if Roloson was to turn things around and play well for the Lightning for the rest of the year. If the Lightning don’t make the playoffs, Yzerman is largely to blame and not just the players. It will be interesting to watch Roloson and to also see if Dustin Tokarski gets a chance between the pipes.

TJ Stanley