Detroit Red Wings Villains: 2015 Tampa Bay Lightning


Over the next 30 days, Octopus Thrower profiles every Detroit Red Wings “villain” in the NHL. Today we take a closer look at the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Team Name:

Tampa Bay Lightning



FanSided Foe:

Bolts by the Bay

Games Against Them:


October 13 & November 3;


February 3 & March 22

Last Year’s Results:

Tampa Bay won regular season series 3-1

Results: 11/9 – Lightning 4, Red Wings 3 (SO); 1/29 – Red Wings 1, Lightning 5; 3/20 – Red Wings 1, Lightning 3; 3/28 – Lightning 0, Red Wings 4

Playoff Results: Tampa Bay won Eastern Conference Quarter Finals series 4-3
4/16 – Red Wings 3, Lightning 2; 4/18 – Red Wings 1, Lightning 5; 4/21 – Lightning 0, Red Wings 3; 4/23 – Lightning 3, Red Wings 2 (OT); 4/25 – Red Wings 4, Lightning 0; 4/27 – Lightning 5, Red Wings 2; 4/29 Red Wings 0, Lightning 2

Head Coach:

Jon Cooper

Watch out for these guys:

C Steven Stamkos; C Tyler Johnson; G Ben Bishop; D Victor Hedman; RW Nikita Kucherov; LW Ondrej Palat; RW Ryan Callahan; C Valterri Filppula

Farmhands worth Noting:

Vladislav Namestnikov;  Andrey Vasilevskiy; Anthony Deangelo, Slater Koekkoek, Braydon Point, Adam Erne


Ben Bishop

Sieve or Savior?


Why You Scare Us

With such a long list of weapons and few changes during the off-season the Tampa Bay Lightning have a lot to build on from last year. Making it to the Stanley Cup Finals last year will definitely help the overall experience of the team and losing in the Stanley Cup finals should make Stamkos and company even hungrier to win this year. Ben Bishop continues to solidify his place as one of the elite goalies in the NHL and Stamkos along with the “Triplets” line will continue to give opposing coaches match-up nightmares. The main question mark for the Lightning will be who can step up and make Stamkos’ line as or more dangerous than the “Triplets’ line?

More from Red Wings News

There are many candidates for this position but I think Left Wing Jonathan Drouin could end up being that missing piece. Drouin has been working hard in  the off-season and has much to prove next year. He has yet to live up to his or his teams expectations but hopes to change that in his sophomore season. With Drouin on Stamkos’ wing the Lightning could add Callahan, Killorn, or Filppula. If they choose Killorn to play RW on the top line they could then have a dynamite third line with Filppula and Callahan. Don’t forget the Lightning also have a good defensive core lead by Victor Hedman. Any way you look at it the Tampa Lightning are a deep team built by GM and Red Wing legend Steve Yzerman. It is up to Cooper to take the pieces and find the best line combinations to maximize Tampa Bay’s effectiveness.

From Kyle Barber at Bolts by the Bay: The Tampa Bay Lightning bring back a roster with talent from top to bottom. The team will once again rank among the top scoring offenses in the league, play sound defense, and keep the puck out of the back of their own net. They will win the Atlantic Division and once again make it back to the Stanley Cup Final. This time, we’ll be bringing the cup home for a tan.

8 Quick Thoughts about the Tampa Bay Lightning

4 Things We Respect About You:

  • Never know what to expect when they play the Red Wings. Is it going to be a blow out or an overtime nail-biter.
  • Made it to the Stanley Cup Finals last year
  • Steven Stamkos
  • Jon Cooper had quick success in the AHL similar to new Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill. Hopefully Blashill can one up Cooper by leading the Red Wings to a Stanley Cup championship in his rookie season.

4 Things We Hate About You:

  • Eliminating us in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Quarter Finals last year.
  • Cedric Paquette (for Mrazek) and Tyler Johnson
  • All the trash talked by Tampa Bay fans and the media in general before the playoff series. It went from everyone saying Detroit will be swept before the series started to the Lightning having to win the last two games to squeak by to the next round.
  • We will most likely face-off again soon in the playoffs. (Potential Rivalry!)

Playoff Threat Level (1-10, 1 being minimal)

How can you not rate the team that eliminated the Red Wings from the playoffs last year at a 9 or a 10? The only reason that the Lightning did not receive a 10 is the fact that the Red Wings took them to game 7 last year and were able to shut down Stamkos during the series. Tampa Bay is set up for another playoff run this year and there is a good chance they will meet the Red Wings again. I personally am hoping for a chance at playoff redemption this year.

Final Thoughts

Chemistry should not be an issue for the Lightning this year since they did not make many personnel changes this off-season. The main question facing the Lightning will be if they did enough to keep up with the rest of the Eastern conference. With the Penguins acquiring Phil Kessel, the Sabres vastly improving their roster, and the Red Wings getting the right-handed offensive defensman they have sorely needed, it will be a challenge for every team to make the playoffs let alone get to the Stanley Cup finals.

Next: Analyzing Mike Green's Value to the Red Wings

More from Octopus Thrower