Is Tampa Bay For Real This Season?

03/14/2019

Being just one win away from duplicating last year's regular season success, The Tampa Bay Lightning have done nothing but make headlines all year. With a great win last Monday against the strong division rival Maple Leafs the team really seems to be unstoppable. Being lead by just about the most consistent stars in the league this year in veteran Steven Stamkos with a strong 79 points, The young Brayden Point with 83 points this season, and the prime Nikita Kucherov who is currently sitting at a career high of 111 points which also leads the whole league.  

Photo by ESPN

Considering the 54 win season Tampa Bay had last year, this team is really starting to look like they know how to own the regular season. It really keeps the team morale up to good levels with one crazy season breakthrough after another. They currently have an average of 3.8 goals per game, the highest in the league. Last year it was still an impressive 3.5. They have also improved on their defense since last year allowing 2.82 goals per game. They polished it up this year with a reasonably improved 2.51 allowed per game, being the fourth best in that category for the year. The Lightning's nearly flawless offense is where they find most of their success but their above average defense is really making things seem different this year.

They have set 110 total team points on the year which is a franchise record, two more wins and they will have broken another team record that they set last year for most wins in a season (54)! What makes all these stats and numbers much more impressive is that there is still so more hockey left in the season. Tampa Bays last regular season game will be against Boston which will be dated April 6th. Just about a week under a whole month from now! They're already eclipsing last year's record breaking season and it is exciting to see how far they will go on the stat sheet this year. 

I have no doubt by any means they have what it takes to win the cup this season, but the only thing in their way is their lack of confidence late in the playoffs when their smallest mistakes cause them to blow big games. But I believe this year will be different, they're playing the best hockey this team has seen in years and probably the best hockey over any team in the league as well. They just have to keep reminding themselves of the legendary season they are putting out this year and they will steamroll their way through to playoffs and finally win the chip after so many promising seasons. High team morale, remember that Tampa Bay!

- Isaac Lingelbach