As the calendar flipped to 2020, there was no team more happy to see 2019 fade into the background than the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The lightning started 2019 on a tear going 33-10 from the first of January through the first of April as the lightning were well on their way to a franchise record 62 win season.
Then the playoffs happened and the lightning were snuffed out quicker then the end of a burning cigarette getting swept by the number eight seed Columbus Blue jackets in four straight games.
Everyone was excepting the Lightning to roll through the playoffs and win the Stanley Cup. That never happened.
The Lightning players were shell shocked to say the least, the playoff loss stayed with this team all summer long and the start of the 2019-20 season in October,
The Lightning began the season in mediocre fashion for the Bolts, as they were sitting out of the playoff picture in mid December.
To begin the 2019-20 season, the Lightning went 6-5-2 in October and 6-5-2 again in November as the Lightning spent the first part of the month in Sweden playing in the NHL Global Series.
In late December the Lightning began to finally get their mojo back. The Lightning went 5-5 the first 10 games of the month and then started their 10 game winning streak right before Christmas with a 6-1 win against the Florida Panther.
The Lightning finished the month with a 4-0 run to finish with a 9-5 record the month of December and finally put themselves back into contention for a playoff spot.
In 2019, the Lightning went 54-29-4 including the four game sweep by the Columbus Blue Jackets.
2020 could not have started any better for the Lightning as they have started the new year with a 7-1 mark with two road games left before the All-Star break.
The captain Steven Stamkos had said in early December that the Lightning needed to get on a good run to get back in contention and they have done that.
The Lightning trail the Boston Bruins by six points for first place in the division before the game Thursday night against the Minnesota Wild.
2020 is off to a fantastic start for the Lightning led by the improved play of goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy, and the steady play of defensemen Victor Hedman.
The Lightning could win the majority of their games the next few months and if the Lightning season does not end with the raising of the Stanley Cup, it will be another failed season in Tampa Bay.