Blackhawks News

PART TWO: Taking The Reigns: What To Expect From The NHL’s Newest Captains

By Skylar Peters
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Tampa Bay Lightning: Martin St. Louis

Oct 8, 2013; Buffalo, NY, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Martin St. Louis (26) watches the puck during the first period against the Buffalo Sabres at First Niagara Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

The ‘Shoes To Fill’ Vincent Lecavalier

With such a young franchise, it is easy to say the Tampa Bay Lightning have never seen a player that made as much of an impact as Vinny Lecavalier. One of the greatest class acts in the league, Lecavalier didn’t only become a face to tie the organization to, but constantly contributed on the ice, with 54 points or more in eight of his last 10 seasons. As a leader, Lecavalier was one of the best, but St. Louis will have no trouble following up in his role.

Short-Term Goals:

The Lightning were considered to be a playoff dark horse just a few years ago, but have since fallen from grace, missing the playoffs in each of the last two seasons. The goal for 2013-14 is simple: make a run for it. The Lightning are at the tail-end of a retooling process, and with two of the league’s top five scorers last season on the club, there should be no reason why they can’t qualify for the post-season in April.

Long-Term Goals:

Once the Lightning punch their ticket to the show once again, the next challenge is consistently getting there. Martin St. Louis certainly has a few more seasons left in the tank, leading the NHL in scoring as a 37-year old last season. With phenom Steven Stamkos taking care of the offense as well, the goals for Lightning management now shifts to creating a rock-solid defense, including goaltending. Once Tampa Bay can establish a good team up-front, the supporting players will continue to do their job, and they will again become a regular threat in the post-season.

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