Providence College Investigates

by The Cowl Editor on October 18, 2018


The Tampa Bay Lightning Will Finish This NHL Season With the Best Record

By Scott Jarosz ’21

Sports Staff

As of Oct. 4, the National Hockey League’s 82-game regular season is officially underway. The anticipation to see which team comes out on top in the 2018-19 season is high after an exciting 2018 Stanley Cup Finals that featured a team in its inaugural season for the first time since the 1967-68 season. Although it would have been historic for the Las Vegas Golden Knights to win the Stanley Cup in its first season, the Washington Capitals ultimately prevailed in the series 4-1.

tampa bay lightning
Photo Courtesy of Fox Sports Florida

These teams proved that they were among the best in the league this past season, but there is one team that has shown great promise in recent years and is likely to continue performing at a high level. That team is the Tampa Bay Lightning, who will have the best record in the NHL at the end of the 2018-19 season.

The Lightning’s 2017-18 season ended on a sour note after reaching the Eastern Conference Finals, but ultimately falling to the Capitals in Game 7 by a score of 4-0 on home ice. The Lightning finished with the best record in the 2017-18 NHL season, but the team is surely not content with the way the season came to an end. After the team’s unsatisfactory finish this past season, the Lightning looks to come back stronger than ever. All signs point to the Lightning having just as much success as last season, if not more. The team has depth in every position and has showed that it has a winning mentality.

The Lightning has all the components necessary to be the best team in the NHL. Starting at defense, Victor Hedman was awarded the James Norris Memorial Trophy last season for the best defenseman in the league. In addition, both Hedman and right-winger Nikita Kucherov were named to last season’s First Team All Stars. The Lightning has re-signed forward J.T. Miller, who was acquired at last year’s trade deadline from the New York Rangers. While with the Lightning, Miller played in 19 games, netting 10 goals and recording 18 points. Over the offseason, the Lightning also decided to sign defenseman Ryan McDonagh to a seven-year, $47 million contract extension.

With key pieces, such as captain and forward Steven Stamkos and goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy also remaining with the team, I predict the Tampa Bay Lightning will boast the NHL’s best record for the 2018-19 season.

Through four games this season, Tampa Bay is a-1-0 with a plus-six goal differential. Vasilevskiy has been the major key for the team’s success  with a  spectacular 1.67 goals against average.