At some point, the Lightning must make a decision about Dustin Tokarski. It has to know if the organization's top goaltending prospect is ready for the NHL.
If Dwayne Roloson doesn't find his game — and soon — the timing for Tokarski's trial by fire might be accelerated. General manager Steve Yzerman could call him up from AHL Norfolk for a look.
The callup wouldn't need to be long, a few games perhaps, but enough to give Yzerman a sense of where Tokarski is with his development. It also would give Mathieu Garon a break if he must continue carrying the burden as the de facto No. 1.
This clearly would be a secondary plan.
If Yzerman decides he must make a move in net, certainly he would rather trade for an established goalie, as he did last season when he acquired Roloson from the Islanders.
But getting a goalie is difficult, especially this early in the season, when most teams still are in the playoff hunt and not yet looking to shed players they might not be able to sign for next season.
Getting Roloson on Jan. 1 was a bit of a fluke; New York already was out of contention.
Tokarski, 22, faced an important season this year after missing almost all of training camp with a persistent abdominal injury sustained last season that took two MRI exams to determine it did not require surgery.