Ranking the 5 Best Moments from Tampa Bay Lightning's 2013-14 Season so Far

Eric Steitz@esteitz16Analyst IIIFebruary 20, 2014

Ranking the 5 Best Moments from Tampa Bay Lightning's 2013-14 Season so Far

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    The Tampa Bay Lightning have provided fans with a few great moments so far this season.
    The Tampa Bay Lightning have provided fans with a few great moments so far this season.Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

    The Tampa Bay Lightning’s solid 2013-14 campaign should provide fans with some great moments as they prepare for the final stretch of the season after the Olympic break. The Lightning—second in the Atlantic Division—have surprised critics due to their consistent play despite missing key pieces like Steven Stamkos.

    Backstopped by goaltender Ben Bishop, Tampa Bay should be fighting for a postseason spot over the next few months. The stretch run will provide some additional high-quality moments, but the first portion of the season included some great moments for the Lightning.

    Here are the five best moments from Tampa Bay’s season so far.

5. Lecavalier Returns to Tampa Bay

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    He may not wear a Bolts sweater anymore, but Vincent Lecavalier will always be a part of the Lightning organization. His Lightning career ended in the 2013 offseason, but his return to Tampa Bay was a special moment. 

    The Lightning are a classy organization. Their treatment of longtime captain Lecavalier only further solidified that claim. On Nov. 27, he returned to Tampa Bay wearing a Philadelphia sweater.

    The fans and the organization welcomed him warmly and showed the hockey world exactly what it means to be a part of the Tampa Bay Lightning community. 

4. Rookie Sensation

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    Tyler Johnson should be a finalist for the Calder Trophy. The young Lightning rising star has been steady for the Bolts this season and became the second Lightning rookie to record a hat trick when he accomplished the feat against the Colorado Avalanche.

    Johnson has 37 points this season and has risen to the occasion during the absence of Steven Stamkos. His plus-15 rating and three game-winning goals have made him a consistent piece of the Bolts’ success.

3. Stamkos Excites the Home Crowd

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    Steven Stamkos is one of the league’s best shooters and goal scorers. He put his talents on display from the beginning in what may have been a catalyst for the early-season success. 

    In the Bolts’ home opener against Florida, Stamkos netted a hat trick and set off on a hot pace. The sniper had 14 goals in his first 17 games before his leg injury.

    A late omission from the Olympics, Stamkos should be close to a return for the Lightning. That’s a great sign for the final few weeks of the season and a push for playoff seeds.

2. Bishop Towers over HockeyTown

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    In recent years, facing the Detroit Red Wings in Detroit hasn’t been an easy task for the visitors. The Lightning have had a particularly tough time against the Red Wings. Prior to a Nov. 10, 2013 win in Joe Louis Arena, the Lightning were 0-10-1 at the Joe in the past 20 years.

    Ben Bishop apparently didn’t get the memo. The Bolts won the Nov. 10 meeting and followed it up with a 3-0 shutout on Dec. 15. Bishop made 28 saves and notched his sixth career shutout.

    This was just one of his 28 wins so far this season—a mark that puts him near the top of the NHL leaderboards.

1. Marty's Milestone

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    Every time Martin St. Louis steps on the ice, it could very well be his most memorable moment of his career. The aging superstar never ceases to amaze fans. 

    His best moment had nothing to do with goals, assists or any number of dazzling plays on the ice—though his four-goal performance against San Jose begs to differ. St. Louis’ best moment came on Nov. 25, when he was honored for playing in his 1,000th NHL game.

    The touching ceremony included a then-recently injured Steven Stamkos walking onto the ice. Immediately after his home-ice ceremony, he had two goals and an assist in a 5-0 rout of the New York Rangers.