Steven Stamkos, Jonathan Drouin: Tampa Bay Lightning’s New Dynamic Duo?


Could Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos and Jonathan Drouin be the Tampa Bay Lightning’s new dynamic duo?

When fans of the Tampa Bay Lightning hear the term ‘Dynamic Duo’, the first thing to come to their minds are the uncanny chemistry between former Tampa Bay Lightning captains Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis during their spectacular run with the Lightning.

As time moves on, both of those players have found new missions in life. Lecavalier continues to play in the National Hockey League as a member of the Philadelphia Flyers, who the Lightning will face in their Home Opener on October 8th. St. Louis, on the other hand, has decided to hang his skates up once and for all and announced his retirement at the conclusion of the 2014-15 season.

Just like the aforementioned players have, the Tampa Bay Lightning has moved on as well. Last season, the Tampa Bay Lightning had one of the most successful seasons they have had in recent history; becoming the Eastern Conference Champions and making their way into the Stanley Cup Finals to do battle with the Chicago Blackhawks.

At this point in the story, the Tampa Bay Lightning are preparing for the start of the 2015-16 season and it seems as if there may very well be a new dynamic duo on the horizon for the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Ever since the moment he was drafted in the first round (3rd overall) in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, fans believed that Jonathan Drouin may be the next Martin St. Louis for the Tampa Bay Lightning; a skilled playmaker with a high hockey IQ and a knack for knowing where his teammates are on the ice.

Great things were expected from Drouin, but instead of starting on the main roster the next season like many of the other players drafted in his class, Drouin was unexpectedly sent back to the Halifax Mooseheads in order to perfect his game a little further.

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Last season, Drouin made his debut with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Many assumed that he would immediately be paired with Lightning captain Steven Stamkos on the top line and turn into the Lightning’s newest dynamic duo. Once again, expectations were not what they seemed and Drouin was giving limited playtime, which yielded limited production.

As the new season comes into focus on the horizon, Drouin is focused on making any impact in the 2015-16 season. Interestingly enough, it seems as if we may finally be seeing the pairing that we have been looking forward to for some time. Stamkos and Drouin have been paired together ever since camp opened up, and it the two of them seem to be building a bit of chemistry.

While Drouin may not have had the most spectacular season last year, he most certainly has the skill necessary to get the job done and after the minor setbacks he has had in his on-ice journey it is plain to see that he has the determination necessary to make his big moment happen.

At the same time, it may be just a little too early to start jumping to conclusions. The preseason is the one and only time in the season that Tampa Bay Lightning Head Coach Jon Cooper can toy with the lines and see what works, what doesn’t work, and what can be done to make things better. This involved shuffling players around and creating some unusual combinations. Unfortunately, that doesn’t make those changes permanent.

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Tampa Bay Times Staff Writer Joe Smith had an opportunity to speak with Coach Cooper on the pairing, and Cooper was quite clear that just because they are being paired on multiple occasions in the preseason does not mean that this is going to remain intact when the season kicks off on October 8th.

"“I just want to caution everyone, just because you’re using someone in camp, doesn’t mean that’s how everything is going to play out,” Cooper said. “But we do want to see them together, and see if some chemistry starts coming together, and this is the time to do that.”"

Whether or not this will be the season we see this pairing come into fruition is yet to be seen, but the one thing we know for sure is that this is a storyline we should continue to take a look at as the season rolls on. Who knows…a young playmaker like Jonathan Drouin may be exactly what Steven Stamkos needs to make his way back to the top and find himself with yet another Rocket Richard Trophy.

What are your thoughts on the pairing of Steven Stamkos and Jonathan Drouin? Do you think Drouin has perfected his game enough to make his way onto the Tampa Bay Lightning’s top line on a more permanent basis? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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