tampabay.com

Denis ready to get back in goal tonight

By DAMIAN CRISTODERO
Published November 15, 2006


TAMPA - You can't say Lightning goaltender Marc Denis doesn't have a sense of humor.

Asked about returning to the lineup tonight after sitting out three straight games and four of five in favor of backup Johan Holmqvist, he deadpanned, "Well, I'm well rested."

But seriously, folks ...

"I'm really excited about going back in," Denis said. "I'm ready to get back on the horse."

It has been a tough stretch for Denis. He has lost three straight starts, one in overtime. He hasn't won in four games since Oct. 26, and in that stretch had an abysmal .849 save percentage.

Denis said he will have "a few extra butterflies" facing the Canadiens, his hometown team against which he got his first NHL victory.

"It always has been a big deal and it always will be," he said.

Bigger still is re-establishing himself in the lineup, especially with Holmqvist on a four-game winning streak.

"When you're away from the house, you don't have to worry about it getting dirty if someone is taking care of it," Denis said.

"Holmer took care of business, which is great. The team kept climbing the standings while I was at the end of the bench. Now I'm looking forward to adding my grain of salt to it."