NHL Season Preview: Tampa Bay Lightning

Once again this year I'll be previewing each of the teams in the Southeast Division over at FanHouse. We're counting down from worst to first in each Conference based on last year's standings, which means the Lightning are up first.

I also thought it'd be fun (and moderately embarrassing) to look at a hit and a miss for each team from last year's preview, so...

Hit:
Who's On The Hook: It'd be easy to say Feaster (especially considering some of his more notable failures coupled with MacLean undoubtedly looking over his shoulder) or Tortorella (given the way the players seem to be tuning him out more and more each year), but I'm going to go with Richards. Whether or not his linemates are legitimate NHL scoring threats on their own, $7.8 million is "make everyone around you a legitimate NHL scoring threat" money. It's a cool million more than Lecavalier makes and two Michel Ouellets more than St. Louis makes. Richards needs to elevate the second line to a point where teams actually have to pay some attention to it, otherwise, the Bolts are toast.
Both Feaster and Richards, of course, are long gone in Tampa Basement.

Miss:
The penalty kill should be better and the netminding can't be worse, so I'm going to predict that Tortorella coaxes another playoff berth out of this squad -- and we're all left wondering just how the hell he did it.
Or they'll finish DFL in the entire League.

So what do you expect from this year's Lightning? Go on record with your predictions - the bolder the better - in the comments.

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