The Tampa Bay Lightning got new jerseys a few years ago. They now look like a bootleg version of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Who’s idea was this? Get your own team colours.
The Lightning have a lot of depth up front.
Steven Stamkos – I was crushed when he re-signed with Tampa instead of coming to Toronto. He’s one of the best players in the league and is out to prove it this season, after having another season cut short last year due to injury. He already has 35 points in 19 games. Look out.
Nikita Kucherov – I passed on him twice in my fantasy draft because I wasn’t sold on him being a superstar. His name value wasn’t there for me. I will regret that decision for the rest of the season. He has 17 goals in 19 games, and 33 points. Ugh.
Vladislav Namestnikov – He’s the third member of the death line, with Stamkos and Kucherov. He’s benefitting quite nicely and is well on his way for a career season.
Notable: Brayden Point, Alex Killorn, Yanni Gourde, Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat
Victor Hedman – Hedman has really developed the offensive side of his game over the last four years. He now seems like a lock to hit at least 50 points each year. Last year, he had 72.
Mikhail Sergachev – GM Steve Yzerman worked his magic again and stole a young defenseman from Montreal because Montreal is infatuated with trying to get a first line centre (Drouin). It didn’t hurt that Drouin was from Quebec, either. Sergachev has 14 points in 19 games and is still only 19 years old.
Notable: Jake Dotchin, Dan Girardi
Andrei Vasilevskiy – The 23-year-old has taken over the starter’s role in Tampa Bay and he could hold it for the next decade if he wants.
Petr Budaj – He came over from LA last season and will serve in the veteran backup role.
Note: Tampa recently picked up Louis Domingue from Arizona to give themselves some depth in case of injury.
1. As mentioned earlier, Steve Yzerman is the General Manager of the team. I once did a presentation in Grade 12 about Steve Yzerman. Showed a picture slideshow with music and everything.
2. The team won the Stanley Cup in 2004. One of my former campers said the Lightning were his favourite team because they won the Cup the year he was born. Whenever we played hockey, he gave a name to everyone on the team. He was normally Stamkos and I was Hedman.
3. The top 10 scorers on the team are all 27 or younger. That’s impressive.
4. They play out of Amalie Arena, which has 351 touchless faucets. “Touchless” is their word, not mine. I don’t think it is actually a word.
5. If you’re hungry at a Lightning game, you can go check out Holy Hog BBQ.
WHAT CHRIS THINKS
At the beginning of the season in my fantasy league, I did not want to pick Kucherov because I felt he would not be able to come close to his production last year. Already looking bad on that prediction.
LAST MINUTE OF PLAY
I really like Tampa Bay. They have a lot of young talent and seem to be building towards a run at the Stanley Cup. They need Stamkos to be healthy though.
I think Tampa Bay can win the Eastern Conference this year, or at the very least, the Atlantic Division.
I’m interested to see if Kucherov and Stamkos can keep up their torrid pace.
ONE WILD PREDICTION
Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov will both eclipse 100 points this season.
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