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Lightning Round: Curtis McElhinney is back

Tampa Bay needs a concerted effort to reduce chances against.

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-New York Islanders at Tampa Bay Lightning
Sep 9, 2020; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Curtis McElhinney (35) participates in warm-ups with his teammates prior to the game against the New York Islanders in game two of the Eastern Conference Final of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Rogers Place.
Gerry Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

On Friday, the NHL announced that Curtis McElhinney has been taken off their COVID protocol list and is cleared to play.

McElhinney has been away from the team since Jan 16th and has missed the past three games — Andrei Vasilevskiy has started and finished all five games this season.

McElhinney comes back ahead of a four-game week starting tonight against the Nashville Predators. The Lightning will play their first back-to-back on Feb 8th and 9th against the same Predators.

Christopher Gibson, who has sat as the backup for the past three games has been sent back to the taxi squad from his emergency exemption loan. The emergency exemption was created for this season so that teams who lose their goalie for any reason can still carry a backup on the active roster and a third goalie on the taxi squad for every game. There are no emergency backups disguised as zamboni drivers this year (for obvious reasons) so teams need to have at least three goalies ready for each game.

The Lightning as a team have not exactly impressed to start this season, and that’s not the backup’s fault. Andrei Vasilevskiy played a great game on Thursday, but the team eventually lost 1-0 in overtime to Carolina. Coach Cooper and Brayden Point both made a point to say that the team needs to give up fewer grade A chances against. It’s been a real problem and source of frustration.

Remember the first player in Vegas Golden Knights history? Well he just scored the first (preseason) goal in AHL Henderson Silver Knights history! How about that!

You’re hired, Adam Wainwright!

...but I would be remiss if I didn’t say that it’s spelt re-signs. Get it together, St. Louis!

First players-only meeting of the season? Who had money on Calgary?

This was a really good feature on former NHL head coach Ted Nolan and why he’s on the outside of the inner circle. Nolan is a member of the Ojibwe First Nations and won NHL Coach of the Year in 1997.