ZADS: Eastern Conference Preview- Tampa Bay Lightning

by Chris Zadorozny (@Zads07)

In the 14th preview of 15 Eastern Conference teams, we will look at one team that has been up and down the past couple of years. The Lightning bought out their captain in the offseason but are looking to bounce back with a familiar core. Say hello to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Lightning Preview 2013History

  • Founded in 1992 as an expansion franchise.
  • 1 Stanley Cup (2003-04)
  • 1 Conference Championship (2003-04)
  • 2 Division Championships (2002-03, 2003-04)

2013 stats: Top 5 players

Martin St. Louis (17 G, 43 A, 60 PTS), Steven Stamkos (29 G, 28 A, 57 PTS), Teddy Purcell (11, 25 A, 36 PTS), Vincent Lecavlier (10 G, 22 A, 32 PTS), Cory Conacher (9 G, 15 A, 24 PTS)

2013 Team Rankings

  • 3rd in Goals/Game (3.06)
  • 26th in Goals Against (3.06)
  • 13th in Power Play (19.0%)
  • 19th in Penalty Kill (80.6%)

Goaltending Situation

  • Ben Bishop (22 GP, 11 W, 9 L, 1 OTL, .920 SV%, 2.67 GAA)
    • Bishop split time with Lindback last year, and wasn’t particularly great.
  • Anders Lindback (24 GP, 10 W, 10 L, 1 OTL, .902 SV%, 2.90 GAA)
    • Lindback also split time with Bishop, and was slightly better than Bishop.

Someone needs to come out of the pre-season and be the #1 goaltender; so far, that isn’t clear. This will be the biggest problem this year for the Lightning and although they have the scoring, the goaltending will be the question to start.

Offseason Moves

Additions: D Drew Olson (Trade/Columbus), F Geoff Walker (Free Agent/Colorado), F Valtteri Filppula (Free Agent/Detroit)

Losses: F Benoit Pouliot (Free Agent/NYR), F JT Wyman (Free Agent/Colorado), G Mathieu Garon (Free Agent), C Vincent Lecavlier (Buyout/Philadelphia), D Brendan Mikkelson (Free Agent/Pittsburgh)

Games vs. Red Wings

  • Saturday, November 9, 2013 vs. Tampa Bay (7:00pm)
  • Thursday, December 12, 2013 @ Tampa Bay (7:30pm)
  • Sunday, December 15, 2013 vs. Tampa Bay (5:00pm)
  • Saturday, February 8, 2014 @ Tampa Bay (7:00pm)
  • Sunday, March 30, 2014 vs. Tampa Bay (5:00pm)

The Tampa Bay Lightning have a goaltending problem, but hope to offset it with a talented group of forwards. This year, the Lightning could jump up and become a threat again, but that’s a big if. Their goaltending is going to be the big question mark this season.

To read the original post that appeared on Sports Radio Detroit, on September 28, 2013, go to www.sportsradiodetroit.com

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