Musical Backups

Due to a knee injury to Mike Smith, you might've noticed Jonathan Boutin was an emergency callup for tonight's game against the Panthers. According to Erik Erlendsson's blog, Boutin will be sent back to Norfolk after the game once Marc Denis clears re-entry waivers and Denis will be back with the club. Don't spend that game check all in one place, Jonathan.

Erlendsson also quotes John Tortorella from the morning press conference claiming both Karri Ramo and Mike Lundin should start next season in the minor leagues; Ramo to get more starts and Lundin to gain more strength. He also, apparently, demanded more physical play from Matt Smaby.

Regarding Ramo: Coach is wrong. Period. This organization blew making the correct hockey decision at the start of this season not keeping Karri in Tampa even though it was obvious in camp he was already Holmqvist and Denis' equal. Compounding it by starting Ramo in Norfolk next season would be an equally foolish mistake. Mike Smith has proven nothing as a starter in the NHL. Heck, he was still considered a prospect by this website's criteria just a few weeks ago. Better to have a young lion like Ramo nipping at his heels keeping him honest than to have some old nag like Denis giving Smith no reason to look over his shoulder and push himself. Not only should Ramo not be in Norfolk to start next season, he should be getting 40% of the starts in Tampa and by season's end I wouldn't be surprised at all if he has Smith's #1 job.