Less than four months ago, the Tampa Bay Lightning won the Stanley Cup. It was something this NHL organization desired for such a long time. They finally got it. They finally won the Stanley Cup for the first time since 2004.
With this team coming fresh off of their major win, they will be looking for another opportunity to win the trophy. Captain Steven Stamkos is also looking to help his team make another run to the Stanley Cup this year. It won’t be an easy task, but it is doable. Stamkos and the Lightning are well-rested and hungry for another chance to get the trophy.
Do the Lightning Still Have the Potential Needed?
Over the past several years, the Lightning had a mixture of highs and lows. For example, in the 2010-11 season, the Lightning ended their season recording a 46-25-11 win-loss-tie record. Quite notably, this was a high peak for the professional hockey team. They ended the season off on a strong note and qualified for the playoffs. They saw their playoff hopes shattered early, being eliminated by the Boston Bruins after seven games.
The next season was quite different, however. They did not qualify for the playoffs after wrapping up the season 38-36-8. There were good times and bad ones, but the Lightning eventually found their footing some years later. In early 2014, Steven Stamkos was officially named as the team’s new captain. At the end of the 2013-14 season, the Lightning’s performance was sufficient enough for the team to earn a playoff spot. Consequently, they were eliminated in Round 1 by the Montreal Canadiens.
The next time the Lightning made a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals would be in early 2015, facing off against the Chicago Blackhawks. They did not, however, win the trophy that year. Despite this, the Lightning had shown some development over that season. They came a long way from just several years ago.
2019-20 Season and the Stanley Cup Championships
It appeared that the 2019-20 season was the Lightning’s year to shine and win the trophy they so much strived after for 16 years. The season was suspended on March 12, 2020 due to COVID-19. In May, the NHL decided to officially cancel the rest of the season. At that point, there was a big matter of uncertainty for all NHL teams. It seemed that the NHL season was over and all the hard work that each respective team had put into the season had been washed away.
There was some hope later in 2020 as the NHL decided to begin the Stanley Cup under specific COVID-19 guidelines to ensure the safety of everyone. The qualifications for the playoffs would be that the teams with the highest point percentages would be eligible.
To cap off their run to the Finals, the Lightning faced off with the Dallas Stars, eventually winning the series 3-1 and winning the Stanley Cup Championship, ending a 16-year drought for the team.
Keeping this win in mind, the Lightning looked at this accomplishment as something special. They have proven that they are capable of going the extra mile and giving the game 110%. They have proved to fans that they had a successful season, despite all the uncertainty from the pandemic. With a Stanley Cup trophy fresh on the team’s mind, there is no doubt that they will be ready for the 2021 season to begin. .
We will see what the Lightning will do this season. Their season begins Jan. 13 in a home matchup versus the Chicago Blackhawks at 7 p.m.