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Don’t worry, Dustin Tokarski might save Tampa Bay in goal

Dec 14, 2011, 12:33 PM EDT

Dustin Tokarski Getty Images

If you’re a Lightning fan and worried about the state of goaltending with the team, fear not, help might be on the way. Sort of.

Lightning beat man Damian Cristodero reports that GM Steve Yzerman might call on goalie prospect Dustin Tokarski to see if he can play better than Dwayne Roloson or Mathieu Garon in goal.

At this point, Yzerman should try just about anything that could work in hopes of turning things around in Tampa Bay. The Lightning are buried in the Southeast Division and Eastern Conference and their goaltending is the main reason why they’re stinking up the house.

If you’re curious about Tokarski’s pedigree, he was their fifth-round pick in 2008 and has been hanging out in the AHL for the past two seasons. We’re thinking that “confidence” is the last word you’ll see associated with Lightning goaltending these days.

Yzerman has to do whatever he can to fix things, but if Tokarski can’t steal the job then it’s well beyond time to dig in and find a trade to make to improve things.

  1. janiesmom - Dec 14, 2011 at 12:44 PM

    I’m sorry, but that’s got to be the dumbest thing I’ve read on this website in a long time. There’s not one report that Tokarski’s remotely ready to be thrown into the deep end in Tampa, and Yzerman’s way too responsible a GM to even seriously consider it.

    • bowens3181 - Dec 14, 2011 at 12:55 PM

      Gonna have to disagree with you there. Tokarski is one of the more underrated goalie prospects in the league and this would not be his first NHL action. He is a big, agile, and technically sound goalie, and that usually translates very well from the AHL to the NHL. He has played in high pressure situations before (was the goalie for the the gold medal Canadian junior team in 2009) and has been brought along slowly and deliberately by Tampa Bay management. I said at the very beginning of the season that Tokarski would be Tampa’s starter by the end of the season and I’m glad to see that I was right. Even if it doesn’t result in a playoff berth, giving Tokarski a chance would be a very good move by Stevie Y, because Tokarski has long been Tampa’s goalie of the future, and it’s time to see if he can perform.

  2. haterzgonahate - Dec 14, 2011 at 1:05 PM

    meanwhile… Marty Turco is looking for a job….

  3. lsxphotog - Dec 14, 2011 at 1:26 PM

    Do just a little homework on Tokarski and you’ll find he is highly considered to be a great goalie in the AHL. The numbers in the minors don’t always translate to the NHL, it’s more about the scouting research on the player that tells the story. One thing is for sure…Roli is done. He has been pulled four times and looked pretty bad in all but a couple games. Garon is playing as you would expect a talented backup to play in his position. I would love to see Stevie Y make the call for Tokarski, but I doubt it will come.

    Yes, Marty Turco would be a cool option, but Turco hasn’t done much for 3 years.

  4. boltsfan777 - Dec 14, 2011 at 2:13 PM

    I like Roli, and he’s done some great things in Tampa, but what’s the worst that can happen, Tokarski has worse stats than Roli’s 3.67 GAA and 0.882 Save%? Roli is a true competitor, and maybe could work on his game in the AHL for awhile.

    BTW, I don’t necessarily buy into the age thing, concerning Roli.

  5. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Dec 14, 2011 at 2:58 PM

    Good idea, give the kid a chance

    • lsxphotog - Dec 14, 2011 at 3:57 PM

      This is Tokarski.

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