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The Lightning Insider

Tuesday, 11.04.2008 / 2:25 PM / Lightning Insider
By Lightning Insider

Let tampabaylightning.com become your destination for all the latest Lightning scoops. The Lightning Insider will be in the stands, in the locker room and on the road with the team to provide you with an inside look at the Bolts as they pursue Lord Stanley’s hardware. Our resident snoop will make sure you’re the first to know when the Lightning are making news. 

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Lightning insider

Since it's election day, it's time to talk about voting. The NHL released the names today that will be included on the ballot for the 2009 NHL All-Star Game in Montreal. While Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis were included as expected and as deserved, the great minds who make such decisions chose to omit goaltender Mike Smith.  They chose 10 other goaltenders to include on the Eastern Conference ballot ahead of Smith.

Let's see, Smith ranks third in the league in save percentage with a .941 and fourth in goals-against average with a 2.07. What does it take to make it on the ballot? I'm calling for all Lightning fans to start a write-in campaign for Smith when the voting begins online November 12. Chances are Smith would get added to the roster if he continues to play the way he is, but why not show the league it made a mistake?

Today's forward lines at practice prior to the flight to Newark:

Prospal-Lecavalier-St. Louis
Malone-Stamkos-Hall
Artyukhin-Jokinen-Recchi
Roberts-Craig-Gratton
Pettinger-Ward-Vrbata

After practice Head Coach Barry Melrose said Mike Smith will play on Wednesday against the Devils, who apparently have lost Martin Brodeur for an extended stretch. Melrose was also asked about early-season surprises and listed the following: "How good Adam Hall is; what a competitor Mike Smith is; the play of Mike Lundin."

"Lundin was a healthy scratch our first game and now he's part of our shut-down pair."

When asked about the chance to face New Jersey without Brodeur, Melrose was careful.

"Brodeur being hurt only helps us if we're willing to work as hard as we have been."