Like most of us, Bruce Boudreau, the coach for Minnesota Wild, was in complete awe when he witnessed Tampa Bay Lightning. A squad that already managed to clinch a playoff spot while they continue to threaten the record in the NHL for most points scored by a team during a regular season of 82 games. They currently boast with 108 points in only 69 games.
Tampa Bay Lightning is undoubtedly a juggernaut with most online sports betting sites. Setting their odds at 5-2 to win the Stanley Cup this year, while other teams only received odds of 9-1. Most agree that their quest for the Stanley Cup is an inevitability. This shows you how dominant that indeed is at the moment.
On occasion, however, the supernatural Tampa Bay Lightning team can look mortal. Minnesota Wild managed to shut them out with a glorious 3-0 victory. It is becoming the second team this year to win against Tampa Bay Lightning. With that in mind, let’s take a look at how the Tampa Bay Lightning squad can be destroyed going forward.
Offence Gets Quieter the Deeper a Series Goes
Jon Cooper acknowledged earlier this season that one of his goals is to get his team to win championships with a better defence. He wants his team to win matches 1-2, instead of 5-4. Perhaps he is just a realist, cause Tampa Bay is not a 5-4 team. In both postseason appearances, Tampa Bay has managed to roll through the first two rounds. However, in both years they managed to fall in the conference finals. Therefore, once the postseason is on the line, Tampa Bay struggles to deliver their best.
Slow Down The Pace
We witnessed how the Capitals produced a master class on how to slow down a game when they played against the Golden Knights, Tampa Bay Lightning, and Penguins en route to the Stanley Cup. They stopped some of the quickest attacks in the league by grinding down the game to a complete halt within the neutral zone thanks to their vaunted 1-1-3 trap. If this can be achieved against Tampa Bay, they might be stopped in their tracks to score as much as they are doing now.
Limit Power Plays
Tampa Bay Lightning has the most incredible power play conversion rate in more than three decades. Regardless of how their opponents attempt to stop them, they will eventually find a perfect path to score. All their opponents can do is find a way to make it difficult for them. This can be achieved by limiting their opportunities and space, but its easier said than done. Tampa Bay’s top scorers are so frightening with the puck that they force their defenders into compromised positions, limiting them to pick between conceding a goal or a penalty. The power play from Tampa Bay Lightning is such a problem that the only solution for defending it is not to provide the opportunity for it in the first place.