BY: John Mamola /

The Tampa Bay Lightning are off to another fast start this season currently tied for third place in the Eastern Conference.  The Bolts have defeated both Stanley Cup teams from last season in the Boston Bruins and the Chicago Blackhawks (twice), and have are near the top again in scoring with forty goals in their first twelve games.

However ESPN NHL analyst, and former Tampa Bay Lightning coach, Barry Melrose believes the story of the Lightning’s early season success isn’t the offense but it’s more the play between the pipes.

“They’re getting solid goaltending every night, and in the NHL that’s by far the most important thing” said Melrose.  “I think this team will be right in the middle of fighting for a playoff spot all year long.  I don’t think they’re the best team in the division although the division is weak right now, but they’ll certainly be up there.”

Melrose believes if the goaltending combo of Ben Bishop and Anders Lindback can keep up the pace they’ve been playing at this season, the Lightning will find themselves in a good spot for postseason play.  Melrose told WDAE that it’s nice to see the Bolts begin to get solid play in net for a change.

“If you look at the last couple of years, that’s (goaltender play) has always been their Achilles heal here, and now it’s pretty solid and they’re winning games cause of it.”