Season Preview: Tampa Bay Lightning

Season Preview: Tampa Bay Lightning

What a whirlwind season for the Lightning. They tied a league record with 62 regular season wins on their way to a Presidents’ Trophy win. Things couldn’t have looked better going into playoffs only to be swept by the Columbus Blue Jackets leaving them with lots of questions going into the summer.

Additions: Kevin Shattenkirk, Curtis McElhinney, Pat Maroon

Subtractions: Anton Stralman, JT Miller, Adam Erne, Dan Girard, Ryan Callahan

Forwards:

The Lightning didn’t make any crazy moves to their forward group but they really didn’t need to. They scored 30 more goals than any other team last year so the only move they had to make was locking up Brayden Point. Mission accomplished.

Defense:

Losing Anton Stralman and Dan Girardi doesn’t hurt nearly as much as it would if they didn’t have Mikhail Sergachev ready to step up and play big minutes. Adding Kevin Shattenkirk was another sneaky move that could pay dividends in the long run.

Goalies:

Fresh off a Vezina Trophy, Andrei Vasilevskiy will look to put together another stellar season and adding Curtis McElhinney as his backup gives the Lightning a strong one-two punch. Giving Vasilevskiy a lighter workload should free him up to be lights out in the playoffs.

The Point Prediction:

With the embarrassment of their first round knockout last spring still fresh in their minds, the Lightning will put together another impressive season winning the Presidents’ Trophy for the second-straight season. Putting it all together in the playoffs though is a question for another day.

(Photo by Debora Robinson/NHLI via Getty Images)