Four minutes into tonight’s tilt against the Ottawa Senators, Tampa Bay Lightning net-minder, Mathieu Garon, suffered a lower-body injury while stretching out to make a save. Which led to a mild Twitter storm by the Lightning faithful in wanting or wondering if General Manager Steve Yzerman would try and claim the recently signed Marty Turco off of waivers from the paws of the Boston Bruins. Now most of that came to a forefront within minutes of Garon going to the locker room, before any sort of announcement was made as to what had happened. But is nabbing Turco the right move to make?
Sure, he is a solid net-minder, but he wont be eligible to play in the playoffs, which would be quite the issue if Garon happens to be done for the season (which I feel is not the case). Yes, the odds are against the Lightning notching a playoff spot, but as the great philospher-scoundrel Han Solo said “Never tell me the odds!” The season is not over yet and there is still plenty of time for the Bolts to make (or break) their own luck. Also, I’m sure last season’s Nabokov debacle is fresh in the minds of any GM thinking about pulling the waiver-claim trigger. It will do the team no good if Turco only wants to play for a guaranteed playoff contender.
The next best choice for a quick fix would be the Admirals’ Dustin Tokarski. However there are strings attached to him as well, as the Admirals are a lock for the AHL playoffs. In addition to that he does not have much NHL experience (2 games, neither were starts). That combined with Garon’s hot play of late is why I feel we have not seen him yet, and why Dwayne Roloson has been getting the occasional nod. The other Admirals’ net-minder, Jaroslav Janus is even more of a long-shot.
In other words, it looks like management is stuck between a Roloson and a hard place. Yzerman has little time to pull the trigger on any pending decision, which I expect should happen within the next 24 hours after Coach Guy Boucher was quoted saying, “most probably” when asked if he thought there would be another goalie joining the team for Thursday’s match against the Washington Capitals.
If you ask me, I would like to see Tokarski brought up. Yes it is a bit risky to bring him up with his lack of NHL experience, but what better time for him to acquire some. As Herb Brooks once said, “Great moments are born from great opportunities.” Is it rough for the Admirals to lose their #1 down the stretch, sure it is, but the NHL Lightning are the main focus here, not the AHL Admirals. To be honest though, I don’t like this option much more than grabbing Turco.
Really, all there is left to do is let Steve Yzerman work his magic, whether it’s Turco, Tokarski, Janus, or <enter name here>. In Steve Yzerman I trust.
Lastly, Garon is scheduled to have an MRI tomorrow morning on an undisclosed body-part. Here’s hoping there will not be any real bad news.
#beRELENTLESS Bolts Nation.
– Jim Courteau