Looking at the current Tampa Bay Lightning roster, it’s hard not to assume this team will make the playoffs.
Having resigned goalie Ben Bishop to a two year, $11.2m contract in recent days, this team now has a solid pair of goalies ready to push this team to success.
The veteran leadership of Evgeni Nabokov will go a long way to helping Bishop improve his game. Bishop is coming out of a tremendous season with the Lightning, posting a record of 34-17-6 and ending with a .924 save percentage.
This guy was a true joy to watch for the Bolts last season. Bishop carried his team throughout much of last season and did whatever it took to try and get the win. He’s one of the taller goalies in the league at present, and uses that to his advantage. He covers his angles extremely well, and has an outstanding glove hand. This signing alone could and should get this team into the playoffs again.
Overall, the management staff at the Lightning have done a wonderful job bolstering the attacking options within the roster. They’ve managed to keep Ondrej Palat and Ryan Callahan. The additions of Bryan Boyle and Brendan Morrow will certainly provide this team with more depth.
Boyle has the potential to be a second or third centre man for his new team. He plays the game with a high degree of intensity, isn’t afraid to throw his weight around and has exceptional skills in the faceoff circle.
Brendan Morrow is a seasoned veteran that will be leaned on to be a leader in the dressing room. The 35 year old may have lost some speed, but has proven to be quite successful at setting up players to score goals.
The addition of defenceman Anton Stralman will help strengthen the defence and also provide some secondary scoring as well. The Tampa Bay Lightning got tremendous points from Victor Hedman and Matthew Carle last season. These two accumulated a combined total of 86 points last season. But other than that, points from defenceman have been lacking for this team.
However, if Anton Stralman shoots the puck more this season, I’m confident he’ll provide the Lightning with a lot more points from the defensive end. It will be interesting to see what happens to veterans Eric Brewer and Sami Salo as a result of this signing.
I believe at least one of them will be dealt to another team early in the season this year. I can’t wait to see what deals the Tampa Bay Lightning may still have in mind.