Previewing the East: Tampa Bay
Bolts shore up defense with Stralman signing; another Calder candidate is in the wings
Sure you are.
The Red Wings don’t open training camp until Sept. 19 in Traverse City, but over the next eight weeks DetroitRedWings.com's Bill Roose will preview the 15 teams in the Eastern Conference, including the Red Wings’ Atlantic Division rivals in Boston, Tampa Bay, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Florida and Buffalo. This week it's the Tampa Bay Lightning:
TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING
Coach: Jon Cooper
Last Year: 46-27-9, 101 points (third in Eastern Conference)
Detroit vs. Lightning: 1-2-2
5-on-5 Goals: 156 (fourth in Eastern Conference)
Power Play Efficiency: 50-for-270, 18.5 percent (eighth in Eastern Conference)
|2013-14 Stats||Vs. Red Wings|
|Martin St. Louis*||RW||39||19||81||30||39||69||4||0||2||2|
|IN THE CREASE|
|vs. Red Wings|
Regular-Season Games vs. Red Wings: Nov. 9 (at DET); Jan. 29 (at TBL); Mar. 20 (at TBL); Mar. 28 (at DET).
ARRIVALS: Forwards Brenden Morrow, Brian Boyle, Jeff Costello, Jerome Samson, Mike Blunden; defensemen Anton Stralman, Jason Garrison, Matt Corrente; and goalie Evgeni Nabokov.
DEPARTURES: Forwards Teddy Purcell, Nate Thompson, B.J. Crombeen, Tom Pyatt, Pierre-Cedric Labrie; defensemen Sami Salo, Keith Aulie, Brian Lee, Mike Kostka; and goalies Anders Lindback and Cedric Desjardins.
SEASON SCOPE: Stralman wasn’t the only former Ranger who couldn’t pass up Tampa’s warm weather, nor the allure of the young, exciting team that the Lightning has assembled. Brian Boyle, a 6-foot-7, 244-pound center, signed a three-year, $6.9 million contract to rejoin former New York teammates Ryan Callahan and Stralman. Boyle isn’t a big point-producer but he’ll play a key role as an imposing figure on a checking line, perhaps with Brenden Morrow and J.T. Brown
Jonathan Drouin, the third overall draft pick in 2013, is a tremendous playmaking winger, who has all of the intangibles to become the first Tampa rookie ever to win the Calder Trophy. Sooner than later, Drouin will elevate to a top-six forward role playing with either centers Steven Stamkos and Valtteri Filppula. In his final junior season in the QMJHL, Drouin was a two-points-per-game producer, finishing with 108 points and a league-best 79 assists. … Lightning forwards Ondrej Palat and Tyler Johnson were Calder finalists last season.
|2014-15 EASTERN CONFERENCE PREVIEWS|
|Atlantic Division||Metropolitan Division|
|Buffalo (July 24)||Carolina (Aug. 7)|
|Boston (sep. 11)||Columbus (Aug. 21)|
|Florida (July 29)||New Jersey (Aug. 14)|
|Montreal (Sep. 2)||NY Islanders (July 31)|
|Ottawa (Aug. 12)||NY Rangers (Aug. 28)|
|Tampa Bay (Sep. 4)||Philadelphia (Aug. 26)|
|Toronto (Aug. 5)||Pittsburgh (sep. 9)|
|Washington (Aug. 19)|