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2005 Tampa Bay Lightning Preview

Welcome to the 2005 Tampa Bay Lightning Preview page. The NHL Hockey Season is around the corner and what better way to remind the public how exciting the NHL can be with a 2005 season preview from Maddux Sports. Remember if you are betting on NHL hockey look no further, as we are one of the few sports handicapping services that offers NHL picks against the hockey betting line and can help you be a winner this NHL betting season.

2005 Tampa Bay Lightning Hockey Season Preview

The last time the NHL had a season was the last time and the first time the Tampa Bay Lightning won Lord Stanley’s Cup. What are the chances of that happening again? Considering how difficult it is for any team to become repeat champions in any sport and then realizing that the second NHL season, better known as the playoffs, is a grind unlike any other in the professional ranks—you’d have to say it’s improbable, unlikely but not impossible.

However Tampa Bay will have to do it this time without Nikolai Khabibulin who tended the majority of their games (55) during the 2003-04 season and finished with a 2.33 GAA and a .910 save percentage. Khabibulin was in net for every playoff game, proving that he was as cool as the ice he was skating on. Backup goalie John Grahame, who played in 29 regular season games, finishing with a very fine 2.06 GAA and a .913 save mark, is back with the team. And 16-year NHL veteran Sean Burke, most recently Philadelphia’s backup goalie, has been signed to a two-year deal. Grahame and Burke will vie for the top goaltending spot with the other designated as the number two net man.

Although Tampa Bay could not sign Khabibulin, they were able to retain the league’s top point-maker, Martin St. Louis. Winger St. Louis notched 38 goals and 56 assists during the last NHL season. Another tough loss for the Lightning was Corey Stillman, who garnered 80 points in the regular season. The explosive Stillman signed with Carolina and will be missed. But the champions did manage to bring back other core offensive players, including Brad Richards (79 points), Vincent Lecavalier (66 points), Fredrik Modin (57 points), Dave Andreychuk (39 points), and Ruslan Fedotenko (39 points).

With that prolific lineup it’s assured that the Lightning will once again be putting the puck in the net. But it’s often noted that goaltending wins championships in the NHL and for this reason lightning probably won’t strike twice in Tampa Bay.


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