Coming off an ugly 7-1 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs, it was evident the Tampa Bay Lightning needed to make some adjustments.
With forward Blair Jones often being a healthy scratch, the stage was set for someone to come up from the AHL Norfolk Admirals, the Lightning's farm club, to fill out a fourth-line role.
The Bolts have Carter Ashton waiting in the wings, a fine 20-year-old prospect who has 19 points in 18 games in his first full AHL season.
While he certainly warrants a call-up, he doesn't quite fit a fourth-line role well. Ashton is hoped to be a top-six forward for the Lightning down the road and plays more of a skilled game, though he has a rugged 6'3" frame.
Instead, the Lightning went with a more familiar face: Dana Tyrell. Tyrell, 22, played his first full season last year, in which he scored 15 points over 78 games with Tampa Bay. Currently with the Admirals, Tyrell has scored nine points through 18 games.
Rookie Brett Connolly emerged on the scene this year, forcing Tyrell down to Norfolk to start this 2011-12 campaign.
Guy Boucher is familiar with what he brings to the table, and it's known he can compete at the NHL level, so his call-up isn't really all that surprising. Tyrell's bottom-six role consists of using his speed to be a menace on the forecheck, while also being a reliable defensive player. He will provide a lot of energy for the Lightning, which they certainly could have used against Toronto.
The Lightning face a red-hot Florida Panthers club on Friday, who have won six of their last 10 and three in a row, not to mention sitting atop the Southeast Division. Florida, 12-6-3, has been one of the top surprises thus far at the quarter mark of the season.
Winning this game against their divisional rival would be a huge game to get back on track and stay close in the Southeast Division race.
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