The Top Line
We speculated on this about a month ago prior to training camp as the top Lightning line has question marks around it for the first time in years. Ondrej Palat’s departure left a giant hole on the left wing spot while the other two positions have significantly more certainty around them.
From the outset of camp, we have seen the combination of Steven Stamkos- Brayden Point- Nikita Kucherov come and go. This has seemed unlikely to stick as the need to create a more balanced lineup is as imperative as it has ever been.
Most recently in camp, we saw Vladislav Namestnikov getting work on the left wing position with Stamkos and Kucherov. This is a combination we have seen in years past and has a very reasonable chance of taking the ice together on opening night. Namestnikov has not played with Tampa Bay since the 2017-18 season and being thrown on the top line right out of the gate would make for quite the reunion.