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

(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /
2 of 5
Tampa Bay Lightning
TAMPA, FLORIDA – OCTOBER 12: The Stanley Cup is shown before the first period of a game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Pittsburgh Penguins at Amalie Arena on October 12, 2021 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

Tampa Bay Lightning Reasons For Hope: This squad has actually had the chance to rest

It can not be overstated how grueling the three deep playoff runs the Lightning had were. It felt like last season it finally caught up to them.

Keep in mind that making it all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals adds two extra months to a team’s schedule and reduces the offseason to four months. And heading into the last two seasons, that rest was even less because the Stanley Cup getting pushed back in 2021 due to the Covid schedule and in 2022 due to the Olympic break.

So, while getting knocked out in the first round against Toronto was sad and not the ideal end to a season, it does mean that Tampa finally gets a full offseason of rest.

Tampa was knocked out on April 29. Its first regular season game is on October 10.

That’s 164 days to get rested and healed.