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Tampa Bay Lightning NHL Betting
Tampa Bay are essentially running it back after one of the greatest regular seasons ever. The Lightning have the reigning league MVP in Nikita Kucherov, a superstar center in Steven Stamkos, and stars like Brayden Point, Victor Hedman, and Andrei Vasilevskiy. This team will eventually come apart due to salary cap constraints, but the Lightning were able to bring the core back for at least one more season.
After cruising to the President’s Trophy last year, the Lightning are the Stanley Cup favorites coming into this season. With so much talent on the roster, it’s hard to argue with the oddsmakers, but you have to wonder about the team’s mental state following last year’s collapse. That will be worth watching throughout this season.
Tampa Bay Lightning at a Glance
Stanley Cup Odds: +550
Eastern Conference Odds: +285
The Tampa Bay Lightning set a new standard for postseason meltdowns last season. Tampa Bay posted one of the best regular season records ever, becoming just the second team to win 62 games, but the Lightning failed to win a single game in the playoffs. They blew a 3-0 lead in Game 1 and never recovered, getting outscored 15-5 over the final three games of the series.
That failure left a bitter taste in the mouths of everyone involved, and it created some awkward moments when postseason awards were announced. Tampa Bay’s incredible regular season led to Nikita Kucherov winning the Art Ross Trophy and the Hart Trophy and Andrei Vasilevskiy claiming the Vezina Trophy, but the lack of any postseason success stung.
Tampa Bay Lightning NHL Playoffs
Although the Lightning completely collapsed in the postseason last year, Tampa Bay is the favorite to win the Stanley Cup per the NHL betting odds ahead of the playoffs. The Lightning had the second-best record in the Eastern Conference with a 43-27-6 record, but they will contend for the top seed along with Boston, Philadelphia, and Washington. Tampa has the misfortune of playing three games in six days though as all this team’s games are between August 3 and August 8.
Andrei Vasilevskiy has not been as spectacular as he was last year, but he is still one of the NHL’s best goaltenders. Vasilevskiy finished the regular season with a 2.56 GAA and a .917 save percentage, so last year’s Vezina Trophy winner is looking for redemption in the playoffs.
Nikita Kucherov won the Hart Trophy and the Art Ross Trophy last year, and he was still in great form throughout the season. Kucherov led the Lightning in goals (33), assists (52), and points (85), and he was one of the league’s best distributors on the power play.
We saw Steven Stamkos benefit greatly from Kucherov’s presence, but Stamkos’ status for the postseason is in jeopardy due to a lower-body injury. The talented, but oft-injured, center hasn’t played since late February, and he has yet to be a full participant in practice.
Last Five Seasons
||Lost First Round
||Lost Conference Final
||Did Not Qualify
||Lost Conference Final
||Lost Stanley Cup Final
Tampa Bay Lightning History
The Tampa Bay Lighting were founded as an expansion team and joined the Ottawa Senators as new entries for the 1992-93 season. The spent their first season playing at Expo Hall on the Florida State Fairgrounds. They later moved into the domed baseball stadium that is the current home of the Tampa Bay Rays. Finally, to open the 1996 season the Lighting found a permanent home at what is now known as the Amalie Arena.
Tampa Bay gave Lord Stanley a tan when the Lightning won the 2003-04 Stanley Cup over the Calgary Flames. Martin St. Louis, Brad Richards, and Vincent Lecavalier became household names in Florida, but the Lightning were unable to defend their title the following year because of the NHL lockout.
This team has proven that hockey can succeed in the south as Amalie Arena consistently has some of the best attendance figures in the league. It’s helped that this has consistently been a very good team over the last decade too with Tampa Bay making it to the conference finals in three of the last five seasons.
Eastern Conference - Atlantic
Eastern Conference - Metropolitan
Western Conference - Central
Western Conference - Pacific
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