Red Hot Lightning Playing Their Best Hockey Of The Season

The Tampa Bay Lightning finally has gotten things figured out. It only took a quarter of the season, but the Lightning seemed to have found the right combinations, and Jon Cooper is pushing all the right buttons.

The Lightning is 7-3 in their last ten games, following the 6-2 win over Seattle on Tuesday Night.

So how have the Lightning turned things around and played so well in the last ten games?

The Play Of Andrei Vasilevskiy

It starts in the net with the play of Andrei Vasilevskiy. Vasy has a 2.17 GAA in his last seven starts. After a rocky start to the season, Vasilevskiy has lowered his GAA to 2.66 and seems to be getting better every game.

Steven Stamkos has a point in 14 straight games. Stamkos had a goal against Seattle, giving him 497 in his career. The Stamkos line with Nick Paul and Alex Killorn leads the team with 34 goals.

The Return of Anthony Cirelli

The return of Anthony Cirelli. You don’t realize how much Cirelli impacts this team till you see how he affects the overall team speed and puck movement. Cirelli is also solid on both ends of the ice, which Jon Cooper demands of all his players.

Since his return from the injured list, Cirelli has a point in every game playing on a line with Ross Colton and Pat Maroon.

The significant impact that Cirelli has had has been bringing balanced scoring to the bottom two lines. Before the return of Cirelli, the Lightning counted on the top two lines for most of the scoring. Now that Cirelli is back, that has changed, as the scoring has been more distributed throughout the four lines.

Cirelli picked up two assists against the Kraken on Tuesday night, giving him six points in five games.

The Play Of Mikhail Sergachev

When the Lightning traded Ryan McDonagh to Nashville during the off-season, there were some concerns if Sergachev was going to be able to take that next step.

This season, everyone has breathed a bit easier as Sergachev has surpassed all expectations. However, what’s surprising is the offensive numbers he has generated.

Playing alongside Cal Foote, Sergachev has scored five goals and is second on the team with 22 assists.

Sergachev is on pace for a career season with 76 points. He is playing so well that he has sometimes taken the place of Victor Hedman quarterbacking the power play. Sergachev also leads the Lightning with 41 blocked shots.

With 18 wins, the Lightning is taking advantage of piling up the points at home. The Bolts will play eight of thirteen on the road in January, including a four-game trip to Western Canada.

The Lightning is 18-9-1 on the season with 37 points and have won four of their last five at home. The Bolts will wrap up the home stand against The Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday.

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