Tampa Bay Lightning: Five reasons for hope in 2023-24

(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /
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Later this month, the Tampa Bay Lightning will take to the ice and start ramping up their preparations for the 2023-24 season. Following a somewhat disappointing 2022-23 season, the boys in blue are looking for a bounce-back season to return to the mountaintop in the NHL.

After another offseason that featured a ton of change, it would be easy to be weary of Tampa’s chances this year.

But we here at Bolts by the Bay want to look on the bright side of things, for now at least, and here are five reasons to have hope the Tampa Bay Lightning will rebound in 2023-24.

Tampa Bay Lightning Reasons For Hope: The fourth line won’t be dinosaurs

We all love Pat Maroon, Corey Perry, and Pierre-Édouard Bellemare, but a real reality last season was that the pairing’s best year was well behind them.

They were physical, but their lack of speed became a real liability. That pairing last season had a Corsi of 43.30% (shot attempts for vs. shot attempts against while on the ice) and a goal share of just 16.67%.

Their playoff performance was better statistically, but not enough to justify the marginal numbers put up during the season.

All three are gone, and right now, the projected fourth line will be Luke Glendening, Josh Archibald,  and probably Mikey Eyssimont.

Maroon was the youngest member of that fourth line last year at 35 years old by the time the season ended.

Glendening, who will turn 35 next April, will be the oldest member of this line.

Goal scoring will still be a question mark for this group, but overall skating should be greatly improved.