The Tampa Bay Lightning have been one of the busier teams around the league this summer, trying to get back into the postseason after missing out on a spot by eight points last year. That comes after making it all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals in the previous season.
In an effort to upgrade their squad, one of the key areas the Steve Yzerman and the Bolts looked to upgrade was the goaltending. They may have found their goaltender of the future in Anders Lindback.
Some are higher than others on Lindback, but there’s no doubt the kid has some potential between the pipes. He’s been unable to showcase it, though, when playing behind one of the league’s best in Pekka Rinne with the Nashville Predators. He now has a chance to prove himself in Tampa Bay.
The assumption was that Lindback would get a chance to grab the no. 1 job and finally become a featured netminder. But that looks like it is going to have to wait as head coach Guy Boucher has said that Lindback won’t be the only goaltender minding the crease for the Lightning this season.
Now completely healthy, Mathieu Garon is primed to hold onto the starting job that he pretty much won by default last season. He will split time with Lindback, at least to start the year. Boucher cited Lindback’s lack of experience as a main reason the two will share time.
That certainly makes sense. In the brief time we’ve seen Lindback, he’s shown some great potential. But his actual playing time has been just that – brief. Helping him ease into a role as a featured goaltender is the right move, and Garon–who had a very nice stretch last year before a groin injury ended his season–should help to push him.
Anders Lindback is still likely the future goaltender for this club. But as of right now, it will be he and Garon sharing time. This could very well escalate into a competition, in which case Lindback will have to show that he’s for real–when that time comes, of course.