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Lightning season preview: Kucherov, Vasilevskiy, Stamkos gas optimism
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Lightning season preview: Kucherov, Vasilevskiy, Stamkos gas optimism

Lightning season preview: Kucherov, Vasilevskiy, Stamkos gas optimism

The 2018-19 NHL season starts off Wednesday. With training camps open, NHLm is taking a glance at the 5 keys, the inside scoop on roster questions, and the projected strains for all 31 groups. today, the Tampa Bay Lightning.

train: Jon Cooper seventh season

last season: 54-23-5, first place in Atlantic Division, misplaced to Washington Capitals in jap conference last

: 2018-19 Season Preview coverage

5 KEYS 1. Vasilevskiy’s consistency

Goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy comprehensive third in the Vezina Trophy voting final season, his first full season as a No. 1. He went forty four-17-3 with a 2.62 dreams-towards standard and .920 store percent in sixty five appearances.

Vasilevskiy turned into the favourite to retract the Vezina Trophy midway throughout the season. He had a .939 store percentage and 1.ninety two GAA in 34 appearances via Jan. four. He had a .900 store percent and 3.39 GAA in his closing 31 appearances. He picked it lower back up in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, when he went 11-6 with a 2.fifty eight GAA and .918 store percentage.

Asking him to be pretty much as good as he was within the first half remaining season can be a stretch. but he’ll need to be greater constant throughout the season. He additionally must assist the Lightning’s penalty kill, which was twenty eighth within the NHL closing season at 76.1 %.

Video: Andrei Vasilevskiy lands at No. three on the list

2. greater of the same from Stamkos, Kucherov

right wing Nikita Kucherov changed into third in the NHL closing season with 100 elements 39 goals, 61 assists and middle Steven Stamkos was 12th with 86 features 27 dreams, 59 assists. it be no secret the Lightning go as they go. it’s possible they’ll start the season on separate strains, with Stamkos centering a properly line that facets J.T. Miller and Alex Killorn on his wings, and Kucherov on the 2nd line with middle Brayden aspect and left wing Ondrej Palat. separating them might make the Lightning’s offense more foul because it becomes a choose-your-poison condition for the opposition.

4da1a46ec20cf93ee5c846a51e04f0ed.”I ought to be superior than i was remaining 12 months with points, desires, assists, every thing I do,” Kucherov talked about. “the manner I stick address and the manner I shoot, I must be superior.”

3. Hedman’s run at a repeat

Victor Hedman won the Norris Trophy last season because the NHL’s excellent defenseman. pretty much as good as Stamkos and Kucherov are, he is the Lightning’s most crucial skater on account of how positive he is at controlling the video game, specifically the pace and the Lightning’s breakouts, from the lower back conclusion. He should be regarded a favourite to choose the Norris Trophy again.

Video: Hedman takes domestic the Norris Trophy

4. Sergachev’s development

Mikhail Sergachev broke out ultimate season as a 19-12 months-old defenseman, scoring forty features 11 dreams, 29 assists regardless of being limited to 15:22 of ice time per video game, together with 13:30 at even energy. He’ll possible originate the season on the third protection pair, once again with Braydon Coburn, but it’s a count of time until Sergachev earns minutes alongside Hedman on the right pair.

5. Killer intuition

The Lightning’s penalty kill problems did not go away closing season. They have been 76.1 percent within the general season and 75 % in 17 playoff video games. Veteran assistant Rick Bowness, who ran the protection and the penalty kill, was fired and assistant Todd Richards takes over running each. Derek Lalonde, one among two new assistants along with Jeff Halpern, should also pitch in on the PK. improvement on the PK can be standard to the Lightning again making a run for first vicinity in the Atlantic Division and doubtlessly happening yet another deep run within the playoffs. They lost online game 1 of the jap convention remaining towards the Washington Capitals 4-2 largely because they allowed two energy play dreams. They lost that collection in seven video games.

ROSTER RUNDOWN Making the cut

The Lightning have openings for a seventh defenseman, a left wing to exchange Chris Kunitz on their fourth line and a right wing to be a placeholder for Ryan Callahan, who could be out until November following shoulder surgical procedure in may also. Erik Cernak looks to be getting a long seem on defense. The 21-12 months-historic Slovakian defenseman came to the Lightning in the alternate that sent goalie Ben Bishop to the los angeles Kings on Feb. 26, 2017. Slater Koekkoek continues to be the favorite to be the seventh defenseman. The competitors for Kunitz’s former role is between Adam Erne and Alexander Volkov, who become Tampa Bay’s 2nd-circular select No. 48 within the 2017 NHL Draft. Erne had four points three goals, one help in 23 video games final season. Erne additionally requires waivers to be despatched to the American Hockey League. Cory Conacher and rookie Mathieu Joseph are pushing for Callahan’s section. Mitchell Stephens is additionally an option as a fourth line middle.

Most exciting addition

Volkov led the Syracuse Crunch, Tampa Bay’s AHL affiliate, with 23 dreams closing season. It was his first skilled season in North the us after coming over from Russia. The Lightning like him because of his ability and poise with the puck.

biggest expertise shock

Cernak is a longshot, but when he makes it or performs well within the AHL and earns a name-up, he could buy taking part in time away from defenseman Dan Girardi. he is a 6-foot-3, 203-pound, right-handed shot who had 18 points five desires, 13 assists in 71 video games with the Crunch closing season. Girardi is also a righty.

ready to smash through

Anthony Cirelli had 11 aspects six goals, 5 assists in 18 video games last season after getting recalled on March 1. He solidified his position as the third-line center within the playoffs, when he had three points two desires, one help in 17 games and become one of the most Lightning’s right penalty-killing forwards, averaging 1:41 of shorthanded ice time per game. He may still reprise his third-line position on a full-time basis this season.

Video: TBLBOS, Gm3: Cirelli chips domestic his own rebound


J.T. Miller — Steven Stamkos — Alex Killorn

Ondrej Palat — Brayden element — Nikita Kucherov

Yanni Gourde — Anthony Cirelli — Tyler Johnson

Adam Erne — Cedric Paquette — Mathieu Joseph

Victor Hedman — Dan Girardi

Ryan McDonagh — Anton Stralman

Braydon Coburn — Mikhail Sergachev

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Louis Domingue

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