It's not as if Mike Smith hurt the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 5, but with an elimination game looming for the team in Game 6 Wednesday back at the St. Pete Times Forum, which goaltender will Guy Boucher opt to hand the reins to?
He talked after Game 5 about giving Smith the chance to contribute and that he'd earned it, and while you could easily say that Smith earned another crack, you have to imagine Boucher will be going back to his veteran. After all, in the playoffs it's never truly about just giving a guy a chance. That's February stuff. You need to win games this time of year, and that's where the motivation for every move comes from.
Because of that, you have to imagine Boucher will go back to Dwayne Roloson for the must-win Game 6.
For starters, there's the much overhyped fact that Roloson has never lost an elimination game in his career. He'll now have two in front of him if the Lightning want to advance to the Cup Finals, and while Smith looked good in Game 5, Roloson has all the experience in the world.
Beyond that, just look at what Roloson's done for the Lightning all year long. Remember that the Lighnting were backed by Smith and Dan Ellis for a good chunk of this season, and without the move to get Roloson, it's possible that the Lightning miss the playoffs, let alone advance to the Eastern Conference Finals and perhaps beyond.
Smith has been a good soldier and a useful one all year for Boucher's bunch, but at the end of the day, Roloson gives them a better chance to win.