Can anyone stop the Tampa Bay Lightning from winning the Stanley Cup?

YES:

While the Tampa Bay Lightning has had a great season this year, other teams, such as the Calgary Flames, are hot on its tail. Currently, the Lightning sit atop the entire NHL with 76 points, however, the red hot Calgary Flames sit only four wins back from surpassing the Lightning. Additionally, with four players on the Flames who have over 50 points this season, the Flames chances of catching the Lightning look promising. The New York Islanders have also been resurgent in 2019, with 2018 Stanley Cup Champion head coach Barry Trotz leading them. This team could also threaten the hold the Lightning have on that top spot. Moreover, in recent years the Lightning have had a tendency of underperforming in the playoffs. The team’s only Stanley Cup win came in 2004, and none of the team’s current players were a part of that victory. Last year, the Lightning made it to the Eastern Conference finals and all year, similarly to this one, were favorites to win the cup. However, they lost to the Washington Capitals in seven games. The year before, the Lightning did not qualify for the playoffs because they lost against the Toronto Maple Leafs, sending the Leafs to the playoffs instead of them. Considering the teams’ recent failures in the playoffs, there is no reason to believe a season so similar to last year will have different results. The Lightning have been dominating the league since the season started, but with teams like the Flames catching up, it is doubtful that the Lightning can continue this dominance all the way to a Stanley Cup.

NO:

Tampa Bay’s professional hockey team, the Tampa Bay Lightning, is having a killer season this year. Ranked first in their division, they have the most wins and more combined points than any other team in the entire National Hockey League (NHL). While the team may be strong, it is not perfect. They have lost some games, most recently a 5-1 loss to the New York Islanders. However, the Islanders, although ranked first in the Metropolitan Division, should not have beat the Bolts at all. It was a fluke game; the Islanders are not at the same skill level as Tampa Bay, as the Bolts recent 6-3 win over the San Jose Sharks shows. Tampa seems to have a clear shot at the playoffs and its record shows that it could be a Stanley Cup contender this year. The Bolts were quite good last season as well, making it to the Eastern Conference Finals, a feat they will surely repeat this time around. With a star-studded team including Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov and Brayden Point, the Bolts are streaking ahead every other team in the league. With 21 games left in the regular season there is plenty of time for Tampa Bay to further assert their dominance over their division and other teams like the overrated Calgary Flames, whom the Lightning have already beat this season. Overall, the Tampa Bay Lightning Bolts are the best team in the entire NHL and anyone who says otherwise is disregarding the facts.

-Darian Trabold

-Colin Crawford

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