Hockey Night In Canada Stanley Cup Playoffs 2011

Boucher tries to be coy about his goalies

Categories: BOS vs. TAM, Boston Bruins, Tampa Bay Lightning

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Dwayne Roloson, left, was replaced by Mike Smith for the second time in three games on Saturday. (Chris O'Meara/Associated Press) Dwayne Roloson, left, was replaced by Mike Smith for the second time in three games on Saturday. (Chris O'Meara/Associated Press)

Like he did after his club's 5-3 Game 4 win, Tampa Bay coach Guy Boucher classified Dwayne Roloson as his No. 1 goaltender and Mike Smith as the backup.

But today, Boucher never specifically declared that Roloson will get the start in Game 5.

"I don't feel that I've got a situation," Boucher said. "We've got a goaltender that has taken us here and has played really well. He's preparing for tomorrow. We've got a goaltender that came in relief. He's done really well. Every time we've asked him to come in, he's played well. We've got a goaltender that's taken us here that knows how to bounce back."

When asked whether Roloson would play tomorrow, Boucher said the following: "Roloson's getting ready for tomorrow."

Given the results Smith has delivered in his two relief appearances, there's a good chance the former backup goalie will get the nod tomorrow. Smith has played 60:51 of shutout hockey against the Bruins in two games. Smith, however, hinted that Roloson would get the start.

"I understand my role," Smith said. "I know as a backup goaltender, you have to be ready when you get a chance to play. So far, I've taken advantage of that. Dwayne's our guy right now. I understand the role he's played in getting us this far. I'm going to do anything I can to support him. If I do get another chance to get in, I'll be ready to go."

After relieving Roloson yesterday, Smith stopped 21 shots in 42:02 of action. Smith's best save came in the third period. Nathan Horton tipped an Andrew Ference shot on goal, but Smith moved quickly to his right to get in front of the deflection.

Smith made eight saves in 18:49 of ice time in Game 2.

"I think Dwayne has played exceptional all playoffs long," Smith said. "One period, we turned the puck over and it ended up in our net. It's not a fault of him. It's just the team kind of struggling in front of him. I'm sure he'll come back and be ready to go again."

Roloson started the Eastern Conference final with the best numbers of any goalie: 8-3, 2.01 goals-against-average, .941 save percentage. He allowed six goals in 40 minutes in Game 2.

Roloson was pulled after giving up three goals in yesterday's first period, the last being a long-distance short-handed snapper by Patrice Bergeron. Roloson is 9-5 with a 2.51 GAA and a .925 save percentage.

"Just go out and play and go from there," Roloson said of his approach for Game 5. "You forget about it and get ready to go and move forward."

Mentally, Bruins OK

For the second straight postseason, the Bruins saw a 3-0 first-period lead turn into a loss. However, the Bruins insisted the latest rally - the Lightning scored five unanswered goals in Game 4 - had no impact on their mental health.

"We're fine," Claude Julien said. "This is what hockey's all about. It's a tight series. We understand that we didn't do a very good job from the second period on [Saturday] afternoon. You have to think about what you need to do [tonight] to be able to bounce back. That's all we're thinking about right now. You make corrections, you make adjustments, you do what you have to do. But when you're this far into the playoffs, you certainly don't let the mental part of the game get to you."

Neither team practised today. Both opted for meetings, video sessions, and off-ice workouts.

Lightning irked by Thomas's words

After a 2-0 win in Game 3, Tim Thomas praised his teammates for making his job easier against the Lightning forwards. Thomas had good looks at Tampa's shots and didn't have to battle with much traffic.

After yesterday's 5-3 Game 4 loss to Tampa, Thomas said the Bruins will win the series.

"I heard about that," Boucher said of Thomas's comments. "I heard we were easy to play before the last game. I guess we should have stayed home. Their people are allowed to think what they think. We're not going to pay attention to that. Hopefully our players are staying focused. That's what we're focusing on."