Lightning Struggle After First Week, But Panic Isn’t Necessary

The Tampa Bay Lightning finished off their first week of games after a 3-2 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday night. The Lightning currently sit at a 1-3-0 record, their lone win against Johnny Gaudreau and the Columbus Blue Jackets.

While many fans are worrying if the Lightning’s offseason moves have affected this team more than they were hoping, it’s good to remember the history of the Lightning’s starts to their season’s since the start of the 2019-20 season.

After a disastrous 2019 playoffs, the Lightning were looking to redeem themselves with a much deserved Stanley Cup, which they would eventually get in the 2019-20 season. While the season was a success, it didn’t start out too well, and there were even talks of Jon Cooper being fired due to the Lightning’s poor start to the season. Fans started to worry after a 2-2-1 start after five games, and those worries  didn’t get better when the Lightning finished their first ten games with a 5-3-2 record.

After the talks of Cooper being fired started, the Lightning started to show their true colors, and the Lightning finished the season with a 43-21-6 record, with two instances of the team winning 10+ games in a row. The Lightning went on to win the cup this season.

In the 2020-21 season, the Lightning actually had a great start to the season, with a 3-1-1 record after five games and an 8-1-1 record after ten games. They never slowed down despite the season being under weird conditions as covid slowed everything down, causing everyone  to only play in their own division. They finished the season with a 36-17-3 record. The Lightning were seen as favorites for the Cup again that season and would eventually win their second straight Stanley Cup.

Last season, the Lightning started off poorly again, causing many fans to panic. The Lightning finished off the first five games with a 2-2-1 record and finished off the first ten games with a 5-3-2 record, the exact same as the 2019-20 season. The Lightning finished off the season with a 51-23-8 record, and lost in six games to the Colorado Avalanche in their third straight Stanley Cup Final.

While fans may worry about the 1-3-0 record to start the season, fans of all teams have learned never to give up on their team (unless you’re a 2022-23 Vancouver Canucks fan). Fans can start to worry if the Lightning get off to a 3-10 start to the season, even if overtime losses do happen, but for now, it’s just four out of eighty-two games, so there shouldn’t be any worry yet.

Some things to look out for heading into week two are:

  • Line changes (top six specifically)
  • Defensive pairing changes
  • A switch of prospects (Koepke or Fortier brought down, Barre-Boulet called up possibly)
  • Myers-Fleury pairing returning after Myers is healthy (Foote or Cole scratched)
  • Hagel losing minutes, Namestnikov/Paul gaining minutes