Who’s in goal for Tampa in Game 5?

Mike Smith made a case for getting the nod in Game 5 by stopping all 21 shots he faced in Saturday’s stunning come from behind win over the Bruins. Guy Boucher downplayed any notions of a goaltending controversy by hinting that Roloson will be the guy on Monday night, via NHL.com:

“I don’t think we have a situation,” Boucher told reporters on Sunday at TD Garden. “We have a goaltender that has taken us here and has played really well and is preparing for (Monday). And you’ve got a goaltender that came in relief, and he’s done really well. Every time we’ve asked Smitty to come in, he’s played well. We’ve got a goaltender that’s taken us here, knows how to win and knows how to bounce back. I don’t feel there’s a situation there.”

Unless Boucher plans on dropping a bomb at game time then we should expect Roloson back between the pipes. For what it’s worth, Roloson was reportedly the first goaltender off the ice at the morning skate today.

Roloson’s touching mask tribute

The Tampa Tribune (via InGoalMag) has a great story on Dwayne Roloson’s mask tribute to Kelly Ryan, a former goaltending student, who died tragically last summer at the age of 12.

Inside the small green shamrock painted on the back plate of Roloson’s Lightning mask are the initials “KR” and the letters “TDLO.”

The initials are for Kelly Ryan, who attended the summer goaltending schools run by Roloson and Bob Mason, the long-time Minnesota Wild goalie coach, and the second set of letters stands for “The Dream Lives On.”

Tim Thomas’ offering of bulletin board material

The Bruins faithful will hope that Tim Thomas’ words carry more weight than those of Alex Ovechkin. Thomas declared “We’re going to win” following the Bruins grand implosion in Game 4.

And here we are talking about benching Tomas Kaberle

It’s not uncommon to see an impact trade deadline acquisition flame out with his new team in the playoffs, but Tomas Kaberle’s performance thus far with the Bruins has made L.A.’s Dustin Penner pickup look like a bargain. Kaberle left his heart in Toronto, where all he had to do on a nightly basis was make better decisions than the likes of Brett Lebda and Mike Komisarek.

Joe Haggerty of CSNNE.com has apparently seen enough and actually makes the suggestion that it’s time for Claude Julien to sit Kaberle in favour of Steve Kampfer or Shane Hnidy, all the while referencing the Boston Red Sox failed Eric Gagne experiment from 2007:

There’s been enough “turning-the-corner” talk, and pointless hope that the Bruins can salvage something out of defenseman Tomas Kaberle.

Trading a first-round pick, Joe Colborne – and perhaps a second-round pick if the Bruins do make it to the Cup Finals – to the Toronto Maple Leafs for Kaberle has become Peter Chiarelli’s version of the flawed 2007 Red Sox deal that brought Eric Gagne to Boston. In that instance the Sox won the World Series title despite Gagne’s presence, and not because of him.

It’ll have to be the same thing with the Bruins. Kaberle has flopped just as spectacularly as Gagne, and it’s reached the point where he’s legitimately hurting the team in a role that’s been reduced in a way nobody within Boston’s front office anticipated at the time of the trade.

It’s time for Julien to make the move, and mercifully pull the plug on the Kaberle experiment.

Calling on the Bruins top line to step it up

Boston needs more out of the trio of David Krejci, Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton if they’re to bounce back in Game 5.

Keith Ballard knows how to throw a hip check, like really well