The Tampa Bay Lightning's playoff hopes were placed firmly on the shoulders of Mathieu Garon, as he has assumed the number one job this season in the Bolts' crease, but a significant groin injury is now expected to keep the 34-year old keeper on the shelf for upwards of the next month. The injury is considered a groin tear and the official word from the Bolts is that he'll be missing the next 3-to-4 weeks, which potentially could keep him out of the line-up for the remainder of the regular season.
The Lightning have recalled prospect keeper Dustin Tokarski to help fill the void of Garon down the stretch and it will be interesting to see how many games he can figure into, before the end of the year.
Garon was having a whale of a season, in comparison to some other recent seasons, picking up 23 wins, 1 shutout and 2 assists for 50 points, which was good enough to have him ranked 23rd among all goalies in the league in pool scoring, just before Wednesday night's action. Overall, Garon is ranked 76th in pool scoring before Wednesday night, where his highest rank in the three previous seasons was 313th in 2010.
This injury now effectively decimates the goaltending tandem for Ryan M., who also lost Tuukka Rask in the last week and both goalies could be out of their respective line-ups for the rest of the regular season.
Ryan's goaltending currently has 78 points between the two keepers, well-below average and only 18 points better than the worst team in the pool in the positional category. This could be a close finish, if both are actually done.
Overall in the standings, Ryan sits in 12th place, 34 points out of 10th and only 11 points better than 13th.