Vincent Lecavalier Operation May Scuttle Tampa Bay Lightning Playoff Hopes

November 14th, 2010 by Scott Weldon Leave a reply »
The Tampa Bay Lightning made several preseason lists as one of the NHL teams likely to improve the most this year. Many prognosticators saw the Lightning as a likely playoff performer that might just challenge the Washington Capitals for first place in the Southeast division.

Tampa Bay got off to a good start. Third-year man Steven Stamkos is leading the league with 15 goals and is tied with Sidney Crosby with 27 points in the race for the Art Ross Trophy.

Nashville back-up Dan Ellis was signed to share the load with Mike Smith in net. Currently he's leading the team with a reasonable .910 save percentage, two shutouts and 2.47 goals against average.

Two years ago, the team gave up 32.9 shots per game, third-worst in the league. Last year they were tied for sixth-worst with Carolina, giving up 31.4 shots per game.

This year, the team defense has improved so much that Tampa Bay stands sixth best in the league, giving up only 27.8 shots per game.

Despite all the good news, Tampa Bay has given up three more goals than it's scored. The Lightning stands second in the Southeast Division and seventh in the Eastern Conference. It ...

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