Tampa Bay Lightning Look to Keep Momentum Moving Forward

Alec DoppCorrespondent IOctober 27, 2010

ATLANTA - OCTOBER 22:  Brett Clark #7 of the Tampa Bay Lightning celebrates with Ryan Malone #6 after Clark's goal against the Atlanta Thrasher at Philips Arena on October 22, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

As the young 2010-2011 NHL season begins to take shape, you can clearly see some conference shake-ups.

Heading towards the end of October, Tampa Bay finds itself at the pinnacle of the Southeast division with a 5-2-1 record, along with a jump-start 11 PTS.

Tampa Bay fans have been waiting for this team to break out for a long time coming now, and this year could be the year they prove their critics wrong.

If the season ended today, the Lightning would be the second seed in the Eastern Conference (although there still is a ways to go).

C Steven Stamkos has 15 PTS through eight games this season, leading the team in goals (8), assists (7) and shooting percentage (23.5 percent).

The first overall pick in the 2008 NHL draft, Stamkos seems to be living up to the hype he's been awarded from the NHL prospectus.

This young group has the talent in place to go far this season, and with phenom Stamkos leading the way, Tampa Bay fans are surely in good hopes.

Since the championship season of 2003-2004, Tampa Bay has seen major reconstruction, along with a few not-so-good years, such as the 2007-2008 season where the Lightning held the NHL's worst record, as well as the fewest points scored (71).

This new, young, prospering team can put those demons behind them with a successful season. The key is to start out positive.

Tampa Bay failed to make the Eastern Conference playoffs each of the last three seasons with an average of only scoring 72 PTS per season. However, there has never been more reason to believe in the Tampa area. 

The resurrection of proven veterans Martin St. Louis and Ryan Malone has definitely sparked interest in this year's crew.

All in all, this young team will have time to gel and grow together as they look for another run at the Stanley Cup. However, all roads go through Sidney Crosby and the Penguins.