2014 Tampa Bay Lightning Season Preview
The Tampa Bay Lightning had a solid season in 2013. The Lightning finished 2nd in a tough Atlantic Division, and made the NHL Playoffs. A disappointing 4 game sweep by the Montreal Canadiens ended the strong season for Tampa Bay, but started what was a banner offseason for the team. In the offseason the Lightning focused on getting better on the defensive side of the ice, and brought in top players Anton Stralman, and Jason garrison. But the biggest excitement in the offseason might be for rookie Jonathan Drouin. He is largely considered to be one of the top young players in the world and could be a future superstar for the Tampa Bay Lightning. The team will once again look to stars Steven Stamkos and Ben Bishop to lead the way, and when combined with the offseason improvements, the Lightning come into 2014 as one of the favorites in the Eastern Conference.
2013 Tampa Bay Lightning Season Preview
While Vincent Lacavalier has left Florida, the Lightning are hoping for a good season that stretches through the 2014 Winter Olympics. Valtteri Filppula was the big free agent pick up in the offseason, and he’ll lead the second line behind Malone, Stamkos and St. Louis. Tampa will be looking for a strong second season from Alex Killorn, who had 19 points in 38 games last season. He’ll help an offense that could be one of the best in the NHL, it’s the defense that head coach Jan Cooper will need to gel as they go along. The Lightning will have some big homestands at the Tampa Bay Times Forum this winter, including during Thanksgiving break when they’ll host the Rangers on Nov. 25, then the Flyers Nov. 27 and the Penguins on Nov. 29. The Red Wings will travel down to Tampa shortly thereafter, scheduled for a Dec. 12 game.
2012 Tampa Bay Lightning Season Preview
Although the Tampa Bay Lightning have only been a part of the National Hockey League since 1992, they have quickly made a name for themselves as one of the most dominating franchises in the Eastern Conference. The team has won two division championships and one conference championship since entering the league, as well as one Stanley Cup in 2004. This season, expect Tampa Bay to be a threat once again in the east. A number of veteran players will be returning to the squad, including Martin St. Louis, Ryan Malone and Vincent Lecavalier. In the 2010-11 season, St. Louis won the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy for the best sportsmanlike conduct in the league. Last year, the Lightning nabbed the fifth seed in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Although they made it to the conference finals, they were defeated by the 2010-11 champion Boston Bruins. This season, Tampa Bay isn't expected to go away as easily. Fans are anticipating that head coach Guy Boucher and his crew will be playing aggressively as they attempt to make a serious run at the Cup. Pittsburgh will open the regular season against the Vancouver Canucks on October 6.
2011 Tampa Bay Lightning Season Preview
Ever since the Tampa Bay Lightning won the Stanley Cup in 2004, they have been on a steady decline. They have not made the playoffs in the last three seasons, but fans are hoping that new general manager Steve Yzerman can right the ship and turn this team back into a title contender. Offensively, the Lightning struggled last year as they did not have much depth when it came to scorers. Tampa Bay relied heavily on the production Steven Stamkos, who lead the team with 51 goals, as well as the distributing abilities of veteran Martin St. Louis, who had 65 assists. That duo will be complemented by the addition of Simon Gagne, who will be expected to add some stability to an attack that could be unreliable at times. Tampa Bay added some players in the offseason in an attempt to bolster their defense as well. Perhaps the most crucial addition for the back line was Randy Jones, who will bring some much needed experience to this squad. In goal, the Lightning will be returning goalie Mike Smith, who struggled last year, giving up an average of 3.09 goals a game.
2010 Tampa Bay Lightning Season Preview
The Tampa Bay Lightning have no where to go but up as they head into the 2009-2010 hockey season. The Lightning are just six years removed from winning the Stanley Cup, but fell to the bottom of their conference last season. Lightning star Vincent Lecavalier must work hard to push his team from the cellar back to a potential playoff spot, but don't count Tampa Bay out this year.