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Lightning Round: Andrej Sustr is back on the Bolts ahead of match with Canes

Syracuse Crunch sign goalie Alex Dubeau to PTO

NHL: OCT 28 Coyotes at Lightning
TAMPA, FL - OCTOBER 28: Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Andrej Sustr (29) celebrates scoring a goal with the bench during the NHL Hockey match between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Arizona Coyotes on October 28th, 2021 at Amalie Arena in Tampa, FL.
Photo by Andrew Bershaw/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images a pass

The Tampa Bay Lightning are set to face their old division and playoff rival Carolina Hurricanes tonight. There has been a lot of roster movement over the past day as the team maneuvers injuries, cap space, and Mikhail Sergachev’s suspension (he will be serving the second game of two tonight and be available again on Saturday against the Florida Panthers).

The main bit of news is that Andrej Sustr is back from the AHL, although many speculate that he never really left Tampa Bay and it was all just a paper transaction for off days. I’m inclined to believe that reading of events as well.

With Sustr, Foote, Claesson, and a now-healthy Boris Katchouk, the Lightning are holding 23 players on the roster for what feels like the first time in a while. Thanks to Nikita Kucherov’s temporary LTIR room, the Lightning fit $8 million more in cap hits on the roster until he comes back. It’ll be interesting to see which forwards and which defensemen step in and shuffle out tonight. I wonder if Katchouk gets in a game.

These NHL moves have had an affect on the rest of the organization as there has been a scramble by the Syracuse Crunch and Orlando Solar Bears to find replacements for their defensemen that got sent somewhere else. In the most recent Crunch Wrap, Justin talks about all the additions and subtractions that have gone on with PTOs and reassignments between the three leagues. [Raw Charge]

“Much like Dante Hicks, Amir Miftakhov isn’t even supposed to be here today. If things had gone according to plan, Miftakhov would be enjoying some nice Fall weather in Orlando, getting his feet wet at the professional level in North America. Instead, he’s posted a 3-0 record in 3 starts for the Syracuse Crunch and has likely moved his way up the number one spot in net. Not bad for a 21-year-old.”

I hate to say “I told you so” but in my Crunch season preview I noted how desperately weak the organizational goaltending depth was. Having a 36-year-old in Brian Elliott (who has thankfully been healthy so far) in front of two brand new rookies was a recipe for disaster. That said, Amir Miftakhov has done a great job so far with the Crunch after getting the call from Orlando. In order to ease the squeeze, the Crunch signed goaltender Alex Dubeau to a PTO with the team.

This article by The Chaotic Neutral Zone talks about “fragility” in hockey and not only what people mean when they say it but what they’re implying when they do so as well. It focuses on the Montreal Canadiens but I would definitely give it a read. [The Chaotic Neutral Zone]

“I’m not sure when the media decided to settle on the term “fragile” to describe the Montreal Canadiens. The word has spread like a meme among them; all of a sudden it’s everywhere. The Sportsnet commentators introduced it early last night, before the team was even losing, and it came up consistently in the postgame questions, such that every player had to respond to it. In his post about the game, Arpon Basu asserted that the evidence for the Habs’ fragility was “overwhelming”. “Fragile”, it seems, is going to be the new cross this team has to bear, as if the losing itself wasn’t unpleasant enough.”

This was the highlight of my night, defenseman K’Andre Miller taking the puck for a sprint through MacKenzie Weegar before roofing the puck into the corner of the net. Love goals like this.

And finally, it looks like the Ottawa Senators are dealing with COVID-19 outbreak within their team.