The Tampa Bay Lightning struggled on special teams last season. After an eventful offseason, the retooled Bolts have a variety of ways to improve their special teams play.
Tampa tied for 25th in the NHL on the power play (15.2 percent) and finished 26th on the penalty kill (79.2 percent). On the counter, the Bolts tied for last in the league in shorthanded goals (two), while giving up the second-most shorthanded goals (12).
There isn’t a pretty way to slice it on special teams, but Tampa has improved its depth on defense this offseason and added some grit. Those improvements should help the Bolts whenever the 2012-13 season begins.
The Lightning have scoring weapons in Steven Stamkos, Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis to anchor the power-play units. Sami Salo, Matt Carle and Victor Hedman should anchor the penalty kill.
The Bolts special teams units will look very different next season. With the new personnel, these are ways they can improve in odd-man situations.