For several of the past seasons the Lightning have struggled to move out of the Eastern Conference basement. However, this year things are looking up for the Lightning.
The Lightning are looking like a playoff team going into the 10/11 season. They are stacked with a loads of talent. With plenty of talent on the offensive end such as Steven Stamkos, Martin St. Louis, Vincent Lecavalier, Simon Gagne, Ryan Malone, etc. they’re offensive looks like it’s ready to explode.
In one of my recent pieces I mentioned that St. Louis and Steven Stamkos are proving to be quite the duo on the team. They both finished in the Top 10 last season for points in the regular season with Stamkos scoring 95 points and St. Louis scoring 94. With the help of St. Louis, Stamkos managed to capture the Rocket Richard Trophy for the most goals in the NHL with 51.
The pairing of Simon Gagne and Vincent Lecavalier should be an interesting one too. When healthy Simon Gagne is as good as any guy out there on the ice. It will be interesting to see how Lecavalier and Gagne work together on one line and whether they will become yet another duo to be feared on the ice.
Add some great defensive players to the mix like Steve Downie and the Lightning offense is looking really good. With the kind of production the Lightning could have, they should be feared every time they come down the ice.
Along with a great offense, the Tampa defense isn’t looking too bad either. With players like Mattias Ohlund, Pavel Kubina, Paul Ranger, Victor Hedman and others they aren’t looking too shabby either.
Hedman, who is still getting better, should be someone the other teams keep an eye out for on the ice. He put up 20 points in his first season with the Lightning, last year. He is built like a tank and his point production should continue to rise with each season that he plays.
Lastly, we take a look at the goaltending. Dan Ellis and Mike Smith will be battling it out for the starting job in Tampa. A goaltending controversy isn’t always the best thing to have on the team, but hopefully at some point in the season the clear starter will be determined.
Throw in a great GM in Steve Yzerman who could make an impactful trade if needed and Tampa Bay is certainly a team that you should be keeping an eye out for.