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Direct Current 14: Rink-ing in the New Year

Tampa Bay Lightning 2018-19 Mid-Season Progress Report

It’s hard to believe that we’re sitting so close to the mid-point of the 2018/2019 season. It seems like just yesterday that we were doing the same for the previous season, which saw the Lightning almost make it to the Stanley Cup Finals. Although last season seemed like it may have been the Bolts’ best chance to regain the coveted trophy, three games out from mid-way, this season is proving itself to be an even better run.

At the time of this publication, after all, the Bolts are on a 5-game winning streak. They’re also sitting well on the top of the NHL with 62 points from 39 games. The closest competition across the league is the Toronto Maple Leafs at 54 from 39 games and the defending champions, Washington Capitals, with 51 points in hand from 37.

[READ MORE: Best Sports Bars to Watch the Lightning at in Pasco County]

You may remember that our last check-in with the Bolts saw us wishing for only one thing from the team: a stronger defense and higher goal difference. Both have come to the Bolts, who enjoy a league-leading goal difference of +50. The Maple Leafs are the closet behind them with +35.

Although the Lightning leads the league in goals against, they’ve proven the timeless phrase that “the best defense is a good offense” by also scoring the most at 166. This charge has been led by Kucherov, who after last night’s game sits at 63 points on the season and leads the NHL. The young Brayden Point and Stamkos are having excellent offensive seasons at 22 goals each.

hockey players skating and playing hockey

Where Will the Lightning Finish in 2018/2019?

Although the Stanley Cup is the goal most of us are thinking about, we fully expect the Tampa Bay Lightning to win the Presidents’ Trophy this season. With the Cup being a less predictable prize, we can’t imagine the Lightning again missing out on the finals and we have faith they’ll bring it back to the Amalie Arena.

Running some basic algebra, we’re able to make the following predictions for end-of-season results based on current progress:

  • Tampa Bay Lightning 2018/2019 end-of-season wins: 63 record-breaking wins over the 1995/96 Detroit Red Wings
  • Tampa Bay Lightning 2018/2019 end-of-season points: 130 points (which would leave them just shy of the record 132 held by the 1976/77 Montreal Canadiens)
  • Tampa Bay Lightning 2018/2019 end-of-season goals difference: 349 goals for and 244 against will see the Tampa Bay Lightning finish with a goal difference of +105

While players like Ovechkin are playing too well to see any of Tampa Bay’s players recognized individually, we expect them to continue proving that they are the NHL’s best six, rather than six best.

Of course, we’d love to see the Bolts surprise us with a season that breaks records on every front. We also know that life doesn’t always work the way it’s mathematically worked out to. For that reason, we’ll be satisfied with the kind of effort that’s led them to this point to be continued through the postseason.

Again, it’s just math. While we are Tampa Bay’s lowest-priced and highest-inventory new Kia dealer, we do not claim to be the most clairvoyant. Despite the rumors that have been circulating.

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