The Tampa Bay Lightning kicked off their season with a great start going 8-1 in their first ten games, and they were scoring a lot of goals throughout those games. The offense in Tampa Bay is full of star studded players, and there should be no lack of offense in their game. Unfortunately, defense matters too, and that’s where Tampa Bay found themselves coming up short.
Martin St. Louis put up 60 points in this shortened season, scoring 17 goals and grabbing 43 assists. He was followed by fellow star Steven Stamkos who scored 29 goals and 57 points. Stamkos came up 3 goals short of the Maurice Rocket Richard trophy, but he and St. Louis were the number one and number two point leaders in the whole NHL.
General manager Steve Yzerman, made a move at the trade deadline and acquired goaltender Ben Bishop from the Ottawa Senators in a trade for young forward Cory Conacher. Bishop started 9 games in Tampa before the end of the season and posted a save percentage of .917%.
Guy Boucher, the coach of the Lightning for three seasons, was fired following a game in March earlier this season. The Lightning handed the reins over to AHL affiliate Syracuse Crunch coach Jon Cooper. Cooper was a successful coach in the AHL and looks to do more of the same at the NHL level.
Tampa has three mentionable free agents this season, including goaltender Mathieu Garon. With the addition of Ben Bishop, it looks certain that Garon is on his way out the door. Fowards J.T. Brown and Benoit Pouliot will be free agents as well this year.
The question is, what now? Jon Cooper and Steve Yzerman have their work cut out for them this off-season. Tampa has a good team on paper, but their inability to keep the puck out of their own net cost them in the end.