2016-2017 NHL Team Predictions: Tampa Bay Lightning

2017 nhl team predictions tampa bay lightning

The Tampa Bay Lightning were on track to make it to the Stanley Cup for the second year in a row, but lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals. The injury plagued team met its fate, when goaltender Ben Bishop pulled his groin in Game 1 of the series ultimately ending his season. Stamkos was also injured but his injury occured awhile back and the Lightning had adjusted. Without their starting goaltender and their all-star captain, the Lightning still made it to game 7 of the conference finals and lost by one goal to the team that won the Cup.

The "Triplets" - Ondrej Palat, Tyler Johnson, and Nikita Kucherov - combined for 144 points last season. They were apart of 25 of the 47 goals scored by the Lightning in the playoffs. The defense is known for its shutdown play led by Victor Hedman. The main competition for the Lightning when it comes to the East is the Capitals.

Projected Lines
Forwards
Killorn  Stamkos  Drouin
Palat  Johnson  Kucherov
Namestnikov  Filppula  Callahan
Brown  Boyle  Paquette
Bournival Conacher

Defense
Hedman  Stralman
Garrison  Sustr
Coburn  Nesterov
Koekkoek

Goalies
Bishop
Vasilevskiy

Prediction: 1st Atlantic

I don't see any team that could dethrone the Tampa Bay Lightning from the 1st place position in the Atlantic besides the Canadiens, but that is a stretch. If Stamkos, Bishop and the Triplets can stay healthy, the Lightning will be a very good team.

Related:

2016-2017 NHL Team Predictions: Philadelphia Flyers
2016-2017 NHL Team Predictions: Washington Capitals

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