With the loaded roster that the Tampa Bay Lightning contain, it’s no surprise that they sit atop the league with a 23-7-1 record. However, the exceptional hockey that the Bolts have been playing as of late is certainly newsworthy.
After a 7-1 route over the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday night, the Lightning have now won six straight games and are currently the hottest team in the NHL with nine victories in their last 10 contests. An impressive aspect about the Lightning’s winning streak is that they have notched at least five goals in five of their six wins according to Hockey Reference.
Forwards Nikita Kucherov and Brayden Point are quietly contending with Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen for best duo in the league. While Rantanen is still first in scoring with 48 points and MacKinnon right behind him with 45. Kucherov has propelled himself to a close third place with 44 tallies and Point not far down the list at sixth with 39.
Point is also tied for second in the league in both goals with 21 and power play goals with 9. While Kucherov is tied for third in assists with 32 according to NHL.com.
The offense for the Lightning doesn’t end with just those two though. After a two goal and two assist performance against the Avalanche, Bolts captain Steven Stamkos now has 30 points in 31 games after a slow start to the 2018-2019 season.
Team wise, the Lightning are strong on both offensive and defensive fronts. The Bolts are currently ranked second in the NHL on the power play with a 29 percent success rate with the man advantage and seventh on the penalty kill at 82.9 percent.
Impressively, the Lightning have been able to maintain their dominance in the wake of a slew of injuries. Defenseman Anton Stralman has been on the injured reserve for 15 games now and forward Ondrej Palat has recently returned after missing 16 contests with a lower body injury according to CBS Sports.
The Lightning also had to play without their Norris Trophy winner Victor Hedman for seven games who suffered a lower body injury as well according to CBS Sports.
However, arguably the most notable story to come out of Tampa this year has been their goaltending success. Despite the massive hardship of losing Vezina Trophy finalist Andrei Vasilevskiy to a broken foot earlier in the season. Backup netminder Louis Domingue has filled the hole well as he has won 13 of his 17 starts.
With the offensive firepower provided by Kucherov, Point and Stamkos, combined with the solid goaltending by Domingue. The Lightning are dominating in both the total goals category with a whopping 124 tallies and the goal differential department with a plus 36.
The Lightning have been eliminated in the Eastern Conference Finals three times since 2011 with each occasion going the full seven games. The Bolts also suffered a 4-2 series defeat to the Chicago Blackhawks during the 2015 Stanley Cup Final.
The Lightning have come so close but just fallen short for mostly this entire decade. With the slim
chances of Bolts general manager Julien BriseBois being able to sign Point to a new contract during the upcoming offseason due to a lack of salary cap space. It seems like the time is now for the Lighting to finally go all the way and hoist their second Stanley Cup in franchise history.