Tampa Bay Lightning: Closing Out 2018 on a High Note

Tampa Bay Lightning

The Tampa Bay Lightning had quite a December. They closed out 2018 on a 13-0-1 run.

Here is a list of players that are propelling the Lightning on this unprecedented run.

Nikita Kucherov

The Russian Winger has always been a threat to generate offense. He finished the 2017-18 season 2nd in points behind Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers. However, he elevated his play in the month of December by scoring 9G and 21A for 30 points in 14 games. He has been a threat to score every time he has been on the ice. He logged 9 multi-point games in the month of December.

Steven Stamkos

The Tampa Bay Lightning Captain has found his scoring touch recently. He notched 14 goals in 14 games, including 4 multigoal efforts. He is propelling himself into the Rocket Richard conversation and may even get some Hart Trophy votes, if he can keep the blistering pace that he is on.

Andrei Vasilevskiy

After spending nearly a month on the shelf with a fractured foot, Vasy returned for one of the most anticipated games of the season against the Toronto Maple Leafs. He never missed a beat, stopping 48 of 49 shots. He went 6-0-1 in December and seems to living up to the Vezina caliber reputation that he built for himself last season.

Brayden Point

The 22-year old Center has continued his breakout season by notching 5 goals and 14 assists in 14 games. The soon to be restricted free agent is positioning himself for a nice pay raise. He will prove to be the ultimate test in Julian Brisboise first full offseason as General Manager.

Expectations

Hot starts are not abnormal for the Tampa Bay Lightning. They led most statistical categories at the halfway point of last season. The task for this team is to not fall into the lull they did last season. They had a less than stellar February and March and missed out on the President’s Trophy.

However, this team’s success will not be measured until the Stanley Cup is hoisted. They have played in the Eastern Conference Finals in 3 out of the last 4 seasons, but they have yet to claim the ultimate prize.

The team is going to be in an interesting salary situation in the coming seasons. This may be the most complete team that they have ever assembled on the Gulf Coast, and anything less than drinking out of Lord Stanley’s Mug will be considered a disappointment.

stats provided by hockey-reference.com

 

Facebook Comments

Author: Justin Miner