Hey there, hockey fans, and today we are going to get into five reasons why the Tampa bay lightning could win the 2022 Stanley cup. They have an opportunity here to win a third consecutive Stanley cup that is something that we have not seen in almost 40 years. You have to go back to the New York Islanders of the early 1980s because the Oilers, right after them, won four in five seasons, but they never won three in a row. So the lightning could join some rare company with respect to that.
Lightning has played 43 games so far this year. They’re in second place in the division, with a very small gap between them and the Toronto Maple Leafs. Of course, the Lightning would have a home-ice advantage if the playoffs were to start right now, and then they would play the winner between Florida and either Boston or The Eastern Conference’s wild-card team.
Let’s also look at some high-level team statistics. So points percentage they are fourth in the NHL, goals for they are seventh, goals-against they are 13th best, the power-play percentage is 16th, penalty kill percentage is 13th, shots 4 per game they are tied for 21st, shots allowed per game they allowed the sixth-fewest and faceoff percentage they are 17th. So overall not that glamorous of statistics for a team that is actually fourth place when it comes to points percentage among all NHL teams. So really, what is the secret sauce for the Tampa Bay Lightning in their successes so far.
Here are 5 Reasons Why Tampa Bay Will Win Stanley Cup 2022:
1. Elite Role Players
The first reason why the Lightning could win the Stanley Cup this year is that they can beat you in a number of ways. So we are going to break this down into a few facets to give you an idea of what we are talking about. We’re talking about elite role players, elite skill sets in each role. So it starts with goaltending, Andre Vasilevsky is the anchor for this team. He’s having a Vez in a Caliber year again this year, his last two cup runs were amazing, and he’s in the prime of his career.
He hasn’t been as good when the team is on the penalty kill, but his numbers otherwise are wonderful, and so he is always going to be a rock for them, especially in those close games we are going to talk about that in just a moment.
Number two, you have Victor Hedman. He’s, of course, won a Norse trophy; he’s always been in the conversation. This year it’s his offense that has been the biggest advantage for this club because he’s putting up over a point a game, and he’s driving some of that on the power play as well. But then you look at other blue liners guys like Ryan McDonough, and when he’s been healthy, Eric Cernek, those guys are rocks when it comes to staying at home and shutting down defenses and playing penalty kills. So the overall composition of the blue line is something that is an advantage for this club.
Then lastly, you look at that second wave of scoring. Nikita Kucherov and Stephen Stamkos are sort of at that top level. And then one level beneath that, you’ve got someone like Alex Killorn. He’s having a fantastic year. He’s going to probably have a career-high in points as a 32-year-old. He has 13 goals and 26 assists for 39 points in 43 games.
2. Elite When It Comes To Close Games
Reason number two is they are elite when it comes to close games. So there are only two teams in the NHL who have not lost a one-goal game in regulation so far this year. One of them is the Colorado Avalanche, who are just on a tear as we write this article, and the other team is the Tampa Bay Lightning. We thought they would be particularly good at closing games out, but they’re actually at their best in the beginning.
So they have a plus 13 or plus 14 goal differential in the first period, and they’re a team that draws a lot of penalties. You saw this in the postseason last year as well, especially in that first round against Florida. If you’re not ready to play from the moment the puck drops, these guys could draw penalties, they could capitalize with the weapons that they have, and if they get a multi-goal lead in the first period, you’re pretty doomed.
3. Checking Line
Reason number three, they have a solution for the checking line that they lost last year. So we think one reason why the Lightning were able to start this potential dynasty in the making was that they had guys like Barkley Goodrow that they acquired, they had Blake Coleman, and they had Yani Gourd, who can really fill a variety of positions out there a variety of roles.
They lost all those guys in the off-season, but they were able to replace them with veterans, guys who have made deep runs in the playoffs and guys who are not afraid to block shots and get into the muck and grind kind of games. So those three players this year have been Pat Maroon, who has won the last three Stanley Cups, and you’ve got Cory Perry, who’s been to the finals the past two years. Don’t you think he wants to win a cup.
And the other guy is Pierre Edward Belmar, a great defensive specialist, a guy who can win key face sauce and block shots for them, and he also wants a Stanley cup because he’s gotten close at least one time with the vegas golden knights in 2018. Now, these guys aren’t going to put up any glamorous statistics, but defensively they’re overall very efficient as a unit.
Corey Perry could actually score 20 goals this season, he’s been great for them. We saw this team recently against San Jose Sharks, and he was certainly causing a lot of havoc out there, and you have a guy like Pierre Edward Belmar who can anchor the penalty killing among the forwards out there too.
4. Steven Stamkos
Reason number four, we really like the season that Steven Stamkos is having so far. This kind of goes back to 2020 when Stamkos basically missed the whole playoffs, but then you flash forward to the next year, and he was able to contribute 18 points in 23 playoff games for Tampa, and he hadn’t always been known as a playoff contributor, and so he decided to elevate his game for that Cup run.
We think that he’s carried that momentum into this season, he leads the team in goals with 20, and he could finish with upwards of 40 goals potentially. He’s been the anchor for forwards on the power play, so he’s been very important in that role with a couple of key players out of the lineup. He’s been making plays out there as well – you look at the productivity from one of his linemates and Andre plot.
We kind of like what we are seeing from him to what Alex Ovechkin was able to do in 2018. So, Ovechkin had only averaged 70 points in the two previous seasons before that year that they won the Stanley Cup, he had 87 points in the regular season, and he was able to contribute 27 points in 24 playoff games. We don’t know if Stamkos is going to have that same level of impact, but we kind of see him trending in sort of that direction.
5. Deadly Special Teams
Lastly, even though so far the special teams haven’t been all that great, they’re going to improve. So as long as you have somebody like Eric Chernak returning to kill penalties with his defensive capabilities, and you have a guy like Braden Point and especially Nikita Kucherov healthy and contributing to the power play. This team is very deadly in both facets. So you look at the playoffs last season, the team was 32.4 percent on the power play, a very good 84.1 on the penalty kill, and it’s because of role players like that.
Tampa’s power play is an absolute spectacle to watch out there, and they’re going to have the same personnel for the postseason as long as these guys stay healthy. We would imagine it starts with Victor Hedman at the point, and then you have, of course, your sort of wing spots with Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov, especially with Kucherov being able to, you know, work that crosses crease passes.
You’ve got Braden Point at the bumper. He does a wonderful job there, too, especially for his size, and then you have, of course, Alex Kalorn down low to bang in some of those rebounds. Just an absolute wagon of a power-play unit for them there. Then on the penalty kill, yeah, they do take a lot of penalties, but you do have to credit them. They draw a lot of penalties as well.