As we approach the halfway mark of the NHL season the Tampa Bay Lightning are on a record setting pace. But with 45 games left in the season a lot can still go awry and derail the season.
The Lightning have not really been tested with an extended slump yet. The top scorers have been hot all season and show no signs of cooling off. Both goaltenders Vasilevskiy and Domingue have been outstanding.
The lightning have played 39 games and are 29-7-2 good for 60 points. If the lightning keep up this pace they will finish with between 124-128 points which would be good for 4th best in NHL history.
The Lightning are also on a 12-0-1 streak and have collected points in 13 straight games. That is good for 2nd best in Lightning history.
The 76-77 Montreal canadiens own the best record all time as that team went 60-8-12 to finish with 132 points. The next year, the Habs finished with 129 points with a 59-10-11 record. The Canadiens also won the Stanley Cup both seasons.
The teams that have the top 10 regular season records in NHL history, only 6 of the 10 went on to win the Stanley Cup the year that they won the Presidents Trophy.
So there is really no correlation between the having the best record in the regular season and then going on to win the Stanley Cup. In the last 30 years only 7 teams that won the presidents trophy have gone on to win the Stanley Cup while 2 others were losers in the Cup final.
The Lightning have a 6 point lead on the next closest team to them in the standings which happens to be the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Nikita Kucherov is on pace for a record setting season as he has 60 points already with 2 games to go to reach the halfway point of the season. If Kucherov keeps scoring at this pace he will finish with right around 120 points barring any kind of injury or missed time.
Steven Stamkos is also on pace for another 90 point season which would be the 4th of his career. Stamkos is on pace for 44 goals which would be the most for Stamkos since the 2014-15 season.
Stamkos will look to add to that total tonight when the Montreal Canadiens come to Tampa fresh off their win in Sunrise last night against the Panthers.
Goalie Carey Price is out for the Canadiens as he is suffering from a lower body injury. Price was 15-10 with a 2.84 GAA before suffering the injury. Anti Niemi gets the start tonight. Niemi is 5-3 with a 4.01 GAA for the season. Niemi has not had good games against the Lightning recently so the goal siren could get a lot of use tonight at Amalie.
The Lightning will head west after tonight’s game. they will play the Ducks, Kings, and Sharks before coming back home
There is no question that this is the deepest team in the history of the Lightning.
So let’s just sit back and enjoy the ride that this team is taking us on right now.