The 2017-18 NHL season has been a very competitive and exciting one. As the regular season is coming to a close, there are several teams that look like they could be top competitors in the playoffs and potentially win the Stanley Cup trophy. One team that is continuing to look like a star performer and a team that could go deep in the playoffs.
The Tampa Bay Lightning right now are tied for first place in the Eastern Conference of the NHL. At this point, the team is tied with the Boston Bruins in total points, although the Bruins have three games left while the Lightning only have two. This gives the edge to the Bruins to have the best record and home ice advantage when the playoffs start. However, the Lightning have many reasons for optimism heading into the playoffs (https://www.rawcharge.com/2018/4/5/17200288/tampa-bay-lightning-ten-game-report-here-come-the-playoffs-kucherov-gourde-point-hedman-sergachev).
One of the main reasons why the lightning are looking like they could be a top team in the playoffs is that they have been able to score a lot of goals all season long. Through the first 80 games of the season, the Lightning have scored 287 goals. This is by far the most of any team in the NHL and the Lightning also have the largest goal differential of any team in the league. This continues to show that they have been dominant all year long on both sides of the ice.
Throughout the year, the team has been led by Nikkita Kucherov who is considered one of the favorites for being named the MVP of the league. Through the first 80 games, Kucherov has already scored 38 goals while collecting another 60 assists. These impressive statistics rank him among the top players in the league. On the other side of the ice, the goaltending has continued to be very strong. Andrei Vasilevsky has shown why he has a great reputation in the league has he has a record of 43 wins against just 20 losses, including three OT losses. His goals against average of 2.58 and 92.1% save percentage are also among the best in the league.
Once they are in the playoffs, the Lightning will have their hands full. The Eastern Conference has several very good teams, including the Philadelphia Flyers and Washington Capitals.