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Lightning Round: Alexei Melnichuk named ECHL goalie of the week

And Stamkos breaks another franchise record

Calgary Flames v San Jose Sharks
SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 07: Alexei Melnichuk #1 of the San Jose Sharks warms up before their game against the Calgary Flames at SAP Center on December 07, 2021 in San Jose, California.
Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Lightning and Syracuse Crunch acquired goalie Alexei Melnichuk from the San Jose Sharks organization in exchange for Antoine Morand at last week’s trade deadline. The deal was made so the organization could have some goaltending depth. This week it seems Melnichuk is fitting in nicely as he earned the ECHL’s Goaltender of the Week honors. That trade already seems to be paying off.

The Bolts beat the Canes 4-3 in overtime last night, with Steven Stamkos getting the game-winner in a three-point night, breaking yet another franchise record in the process. Nikita Kucherov had three points too in a big night for the power play. From Matt’s recap:

Tampa Bay’s power-play coming alive the way it did this evening was exactly the confidence boost this team needed. This season has seen the Lightning special teams dip into mediocrity after years of being in the top five for both units. Over the past several games, both special teams’ units have appeared to revert to what was expected of them entering the season, and that’s bad news for teams that take a lot of penalties.

The NHL also announced to the general managers at the GM Meetings that the salary cap is going up a million next season. Coming too soon for the Lightning who — news flash — are tight up against the cap.

This is weird. The NHL is seemingly trying to take control of the messaging by having referee Wes McCauley do an AMA on Reddit. Could they just call the rulebook instead?

Nathan MacKinnon had a fight a couple nights ago and is now out with a hand injury.

This was a cool read from colleague Taylor Baird on Latin American hockey. Definitely worth a read!