The Tampa Bay Lightning have been on fire lately, and after a decisive win against the Habs last night they are going into the Eastern Conference Finals with a shit ton of momentum.
Their next opponent is either the Washington Capital or the NY Rangers (if there’s a god, they’ll be playing the Rangers), and here are the exact three reasons why it honestly won’t matter.
To win the Stanley Cup you need hot goal scorers. The lightning have had multiple players step up in each series, and as one cools down, another heats up! One example of this is Nikita Kucherov, who didn’t have any goals in the first series against Detroit, but netted 6 goals in 6 games against the Habs!
Another star on the Lightning is Tyler Johnson, who has a playoff leading 8 goals, and finishing thrid behind Scorey Perry (Anaheim), and Patrick Kane (Chicago) in points with 12.
Combine these two players with the rest of the Lightnings scoring threats, and you’ve got a dangerous team.
2. Hot Goaltending
While I wouldn’t rank Ben Bishop above The King Henrik, or Holtby… he’s certainly been on fire lately. Facing the 2nd most amount of shots in the playoffs, he’s only let in an average of 1 goal per game. Bishop is a staggering 6’7″ 209 lbs, taking up pretty much the entire net, and when this guy is on, he is damn near unbeatable. With hot goaltending, and incredible scoring in front of him, the lightning really only need one more ingredient….
3. Puck Possession
Control the puck and you control the game. Tampa has shown it’s dominance in multiple games this post season (granted a few they slipped up) while control the play in the neutral zone. When the opposing team can’t successfully play in the neutral zone, they can’t bring any momentum into the offensive zone. We saw Tampa stop Detroit in the neutral zone, we saw them dominate the Habs there as well, and a key component of them winning is their neutral zone play.
If Tampa is to win Lord Stanley’s Cup, they’ll need to make sure these three factors don’t suffer, and by the looks of it, they don’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.