Can They Repeat?
We don’t get alot of articles on the Tampa Bay lightning, but this is going to be a big discussion when hockey comes back. Here’s what I think.The Lightning made some bad off season moves over the summer. Giving up the tenth highest scorer in the league last year, so they could trade for Vaclav Prospal, a guy who thought he was was too good for the lightning, left, and then flopped. That’s like trading CuJo back to the Leafs, or Carter back to the Raptors. Of course, Prospal won’t get the same reaction, because the Lightning “fans” don’t care as much, and Prospal isn’t s good or popular as Carter and Joseph were.
But the Lightning still have alot of big guns. Regular season MVP Martin St Louis, Playoff MVP Brad Richards, and World Cup MVP Vincent Lecavalier. Lecavalier has improved alot over the years he’s been playing. The first overall pick in 1998 is finally starting to pan out. And with seven points in six games in the latest best on best tournament, this is something for whatever lightning fans there are to get excited about.
Now to Fredrik Modin, one of those guys the Leafs idiot management gave up. Modin was the only player in the world cup who scored more goals then Lecavalier, and he did it in two less games. 8 points in four games, for an average of two points a game. I doubt he could play that well in the NHL, but.. you never know. (If he were to though, he’d likely get every forward trophy, 164 points…)
Now to Martin St Louis. The player who has a*****ulated a higher points total then ever before every year. Except in 2002, playing fifty six games scored five points less then in 2001 playing 78 games. With that kind of improvement, it’s likely that Martin St Louis could bring hundred point seasons back to the NHL, in the last five years, the most hundred point seasons there’s been in a year is 2003, Forseberg, Naslund, and Thornton, of course Lemieux would have had one if he played the other fifteen games.
These guys are really proving that even at their young ages, they can be playoff performers. And with one of the five goalies in the league with a cup ring (Belfour, Brodeur, Osgood, Hasek, and Khabibulen.) don’t be at all surprised to see this team clime the latter, at least one more time.*
*Should be noted that St Louis is having difficulty with his contract, and with the UFA age lowering and, he could leave the lightning. But would he have the same success? With a speed team like Montreal, very likely, with a rough and tough veteran team like Toronto, I highly doubt it.