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Marc Denis to be a scratch in the playoffs

Posted Apr 10, 2007 by Erik Erlendsson

Updated Apr 10, 2007 at 02:40 PM

In what might be the final straw to end the brief Marc Denis era in Tampa, the team’s No. 1 goaltender heading into the season will be third on the depth chart once the playoffs begin.

Lightning coach John Tortorella informed the media today that Karri Ramo will be the backup to Johan Holmqvist once postseason play begins Thursday in New Jersey.

This move doesn’t come as a huge surprise to me as it had become apparent that both the players and the coaching staff lost confidence in Denis’ play in the second half of the season. Now the question is, is Denis done in Tampa?

I would have to think so. If there is no confidence in him he can’t come back, much like Sean Burke heading into this season. But will the Lightning be able to find a taker for him and his $2.8 million per year deal left on a two-year contract.

Reader Comments

Por (Mike Burch) on April 10, 2007 (Suggest removal)

I have two reactions.

1) Great.  As if Denis’ play this year didn’t erode his value enough, team management goes and does something like this.  Now we’ll never get rid of him during the offseason.  Maybe CLB will give us Modin back for Denis and call it even (yeah right).

2) What if Holmer gets hurt in the first game.  Do Torts and Feaster really believe that Ramo will do a better job than Denis carrying the Bolts for the 3 remaining games?

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Por (Ruthe Robertson) on April 10, 2007 (Suggest removal)

Even more proof that the trade for Denis was disastrous. But I would rather have him as backup in the playoffs than Ramo, at least he has experience at the NHL level. A lot of pressure on Homer now. Hopefully he can come through, but if he falters, who knows, maybe Ramo will be a “diamond in the rough,” for us, ala Cam Ward for the Canes last year.

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Por (Deborah Machalow) on April 10, 2007 (Suggest removal)

I agree, good and bad.  I feel awful for Denis, he wanted so much to be our solution in net.  As for Holmqvist, he better win in NJ, or lord knows what will happen to me in school.  I dont know if Ramo is the solution, but as I frequently say to my friends, we’d have a better shot this year if we had kept the Burkie/Johnny tandem.

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Por (Mike Joyce) on April 10, 2007 (Suggest removal)

It’s been a long time coming, but had to happen.  The team had lost all confidence.  When Denis played they were a very different team then when Holmer played.

It’s not like Holmer hasn’t had this kind of pressure before.  He was the the goalie in the gold medal team in the Olympics and most of the people who played there were NHLers.

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Por (kayla Newman) on April 10, 2007 (Suggest removal)

You have got to be kidding me i hope torts is fired cause he sucks. Maybe Denis would do better if the rest of the team shows up everynight not leave him out in the cold. If Denis leaves where ever he goes i hope he kicks the lightnings butt. Maybe if you allowed him to play after mistakes like you do holmqvist we wouldn’t have this problem.

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Por (Mike Moulton) on April 11, 2007 (Suggest removal)

So here we go again.  Last year John Grahame had set franchise records for consecutive scoreless periods, had 5 shut-outs and won 29 of 57 games.  But Torts implied that it was all Grahame’s fault that the Lightning failed to advance.  I know from reading this blog I am not the only one to notice the coughed up pucks, the absolute refusal of some to finish checks, and the overall lack of defense. In Tortorella’s view will it is always be the goalie’s fault?  Denis played brilliantly at times this season, as did Holmqvist.  But if the team fails to win the cup,  I will not be surprised if Torts just blames Homqvist, or whoever else is back there eating rubber.

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Por (rod gillis) on April 11, 2007 (Suggest removal)

Well that’s that. Denis is finished with the Lightning. He couldn’t adjust to the team’s style of defense, which doesn’t clear other players from in front of the net.As a result, when there was a rebound that stayed anywhere near the net, Denis too many times couldn’t control or find the puck, and/or keep his form together; and it was downhill from there. This situation also led to a lot of desperate/scrambling play in our defensive zone, and clearing the puck out of the zone became a real issue many games he played in. The players lack of confidence in Denis forced this move. Nor, do I believe, is there a way to undo it. They will have to wait, until another team’s goaltending situation becomes desperate next year, to trade him.

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Por (Gary Meleski) on April 11, 2007 (Suggest removal)

Oh my, that’s a page right out of Tort’s speeches he keeps cataloged on his computer. Yeah, he says, it’s time to pull up speech #1200-b-2. Maybe I missed something. But I sure noticed all the passes to invisible players, having a coffee break around the net while the opposition had it’s way with the goalie, the much chronicled Oh please if I hit him I’ll break attitude and the “Oh, that team, good, I won’t have to work tonight” work ethic. I don’t think Denis is that good, but the team left him out ot dry MANY times.

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Por (Lloyd Grant) on April 11, 2007 (Suggest removal)

You Denis supporters realize he had the worst save percentage in the entire league, right?  Yes, that is the WORST.  How can a goalie on a playoff team achieve that mark?

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Por (Mike Joyce) on April 11, 2007 (Suggest removal)

The other thing that we have to consider is that the Lightning is the only playoff team that does not have a goalie as one of the three highest paid players on the team.  That speaks volumes. 

When we won the Cup, that was not the case.  Without a very strong goalie, who commands a high salary, we will be lucky to get past the Devils. 

Denis’ problem was that he was letting in shots from the top of the face off circle because he dropped to his knees for every shot and the shooters went high from 20-30 feet away.

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Por (Robert Pero) on April 11, 2007 (Suggest removal)

Good Riddance!!!! As a huge hockey nut….I watch alot of games and not just the Bolts but other teams as well. Watching Denis in Colombus…I thought to myself “Ok…he’s decent….a step up from stinkin John Grahame”. Boy was I wrong. I think the reason he did so well with the Blue Jackets was that he didnt have any pressure. Nobody expected Colombus to do anything…therefore each win was great. Now he comes to a team that has consistently made the playoffs and has high expectations and he just wasnt good enough. Denis is an expansion team goaltender and nothing more. He just doesnt have the talent to play on a contender. Hands down.

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Por (Andrzej Baniukiewicz) on April 12, 2007 (Suggest removal)

Here we have a statement: “...both the players and the coaching staff lost confidence in Denis’ play in the second half of the season”. (You may add many local fans as well.) This statement seems to be correct. However, something looks strange to me: “Second half of the season” lasts roughly three (3) months. My question is: so why a backup goalie Ramo has not played even one full game with TBL?

Although I have not believed in Denis since his acqusition by TBL I have a good reason to expect that Ramo is NOT yet ready for this playoffs. Soon we will know for sure.

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