This is why I love Janus and why he goes up...coincidentally Helenius stays exactly where he was last month:
TAMPA — Lightning goaltenders coach Cap Raeder moved his hand up to describe the improving game of minor-league G Jaroslav Janus. To describe Riku Helenius, Raeder's motion was flat.
"Helenius, he's working hard; there's nothing wrong with him," Raeder said. "But (Janus) is like this, so we have to take advantage of it."
That meant signing Janus, who was with Erie of the junior Ontario Hockey League, to a three-year, entry-level contract and assigning him to AHL Norfolk.
With Dustin Tokarksi the Admirals' No. 1, Helenius is the odd man out, a notable demotion given the Finn was drafted 15th overall in 2006.
It will be interesting to see where Helenius lands.
GM Brian Lawton said Tokarksi and Janus will get the bulk of the playing time for now. But he also said, "We want to keep all the guys playing," and a loan to an ECHL team was a possibility for one of the three. Lawton said a solution could come within 10 days.
Janus, with 27 saves Saturday in Norfolk's 3-2 loss to Adirondack, gets credit for creating the nice problem.
Drafted 162nd overall last year, he was 7-4-2 in 13 games for Erie with a 2.81 goals-against average and .918 save percentage. Lawton said Janus needs better competition to take the next step.
Raeder said he was convinced during a recent trip to Erie, where Janus used techniques taught at last summer's rookie camp and September's training camp.
The main lesson: Use positioning and technique to make saves instead of reactions.
"It's a hard thing to teach," Raeder said. "When I went to see him in Erie, all I expected was, 'How far has he reverted back?' That happens all the time. He's been away from us for two months. Did he revert back? He didn't revert back at all. It was, like, 'Whoa.' "