The Tampa Bay Lightning will be without goaltender Mathieu Garon for the next 3-4 weeks with a groin injury.
Though there is never a good time for such an injury but this couldn’t have come at much a worse time for the Lightning organization.
The Tampa Bay Lightning are currently 10th place in the Eastern Conference and were slowly yet steadily making their way into the playoff race.
With only 16 games left it looks like Garon will be missing most of the remainder of the Lightning’s regular season and putting back-up goaltender Dwayne Roloson in charge of the team’s well-needed successful run to get into the postseason.
The two tenders have quite different statistics but neither has been able to save the Lightning so far from what has been a season with more ups than downs.
In 48 games played in Garon has a 2.85 GAA, a 23-16-4 record, .901 save percentage, two assists, one shutout and no penalty minutes.
Now Roloson on the other hand has played in 29 games this season, has a whopping 3.82 GAA, an 8-13-2 record, .878 save percentage, no assists, one shutout and six penalty minutes.
The 42-year old Roloson has a lot of experience and more skill than what he has been showing so far this year. He currently has career lows in the save percentage and goals against average categories and will need to completely turn his game around if he is going to save the Lightning from missing the playoffs for the fourth time since the 2007 season.
The next game could possibly be make or break for the Lightning and their playoff hopes as they face the Washington Capitals on Thursday night.
The Lightning are 2-1-1 against the Capitals who are one spot ahead of the Lightning in their division and conference. Roloson is yet to beat the Capitals this year when starting in net, but the face of the Capitals Alex Ovechkin is having a slump year of his own.
Ovechkin only has 49 points in 62 games this season and has only scored one goal on the Lightning this season.
A win against the Capitals will put the Lightning in ninth place in the Eastern Conference and two points behind the Winnipeg Jets if the Jets lose to the Vancouver Canucks.