Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Dmitry Korobov has been re-assigned to the Syracuse Crunch of the AHL, the team announced this afternoon.
Here's the official release from the team:
The Tampa Bay Lightning have reassigned defenseman Dmitry Korobov to the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League today, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced.
Korobov, 24, made his NHL debut last night against the Los Angeles Kings, recording one hit and 13:21 minutes of ice time. He was originally recalled by the Lightning on November 12. The 6-foot-3, 235-pound defenseman has skated in 13 games with the Crunch this season, notching six assists and 13 penalty minutes. He ranks first on Syracuse with a plus-7 rating.
A native of Novopolotsk, Belarus, Korobov has skated in 78 career AHL games, all with the Crunch, recording three goals and 28 points. Last season he ranked second in the AHL among rookies with a plus-20 rating. Korobov helped lead Syracuse to the 2013 Calder Cup Final, recording a goal and two points in 17 games.
Korobov looked fine in his NHL debut, avoiding committing any costly errors on defense and somehow ending the game even in a game the Bolts gave up 5 goals, but he didn't stand out either as the Lightning were outmatched by the Los Angeles Kings and were routinely unable to execute a simple breakout pass to get out if their own zone.
Korobov, more known for his physical and defensive play, doesn't really help the puck-moving ills the Lightning are currently suffering, but he will be a tremendous boon back in Syracuse where the Crunch have been struggling without three of their top 4 defensemen, with Korobov in Tampa due to injuries to Keith Aulie and Mark Barberio and Syracuse dealing with their own battered blue line playing without Nikita Nesterov and Matt Taormina.
Fortunately, things are looking up for the Crunch. In addition to the return of Korobov, Nesterov and Taormina also look ready to re-enter the lineup soon:
#SyrCrunch blueline gets a big boost with Korobov sent down and Nesterov and Taormina set to return from injuries.— Jeremy Houghtaling (@JGHoughtaling) November 20, 2013
As for the Lightning, sending Korobov down obviously suggests one (or both) of Aulie or Barberio are ready to go for tomorrow against the San Jose Sharks in San Jose, something that was hinted at in last night's recap of the 5-2 loss to the Kings.
Expect one or two of Andrej Sustr, Keith Aulie, and Mark Barberio to draw back into the lineup tomorrow night while Korobov jumps right back into a top-4 role for the Crunch on Friday night against the Hamilton Bulldogs.