Shemon & Sheppard – In The Afternoon

Shemon & Sheppard – In The Afternoon

Shemon & Sheppard – In The Afternoon

TAMPA, FLORIDA - JUNE 03: Alex Killorn #17 of the Tampa Bay Lightning celebrates a second period goal during Game Three of the Second Round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Carolina Hurricanes at Amalie Arena on June 03, 2021 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

The 2022-23 NHL season will begin in North America tonight with the 3-time reigning Eastern Conference champion Tampa Bay Lightning paying a visit to Broadway for a matchup with the New York Rangers.  This is a rematch of last season’s Eastern Conference Final, which Tampa Bay won in 6 games after dropping  Games 1 and 2 at Madison Square Garden.

Recap of Last Years ECF

The Rangers led Game 3 of that series 2-0 as well.

However, from that point forward:
They were outscored 12-3
Then they had 24 fewer scoring chances (53-29)
They held a lead for a grand total of 18:43 (compared to nearly 89 minutes for Tampa Bay)

Tampa Bay Lightning Season Preview

The Lightning have played in 71 Stanley Cup Playoff games over the past 3 seasons in winning back-to-back titles in in 2020 and 2021 and losing in the Cup Final against the Avalanche last season. That’s the most playoff games in any 3-season span in NHL history.

A somewhat-abbreviated offseason won’t help Tampa Bay and neither will the losses of Ryan McDonagh (traded to the Predators) Ondrej Palat (signed by Devils) and Jan Rutta (signed by Penguins) this summer.

They will also begin the season without Anthony Cirelli and Zach Bogosian, both of whom had shoulder surgery this offseason and could miss the first 2 months of the regular season.

Tampa Bay Lightning Signings

The Lightning used the free agency period to extend 4 core players, spending a total of $161M over a total of 25
contract years since July 13:
Mikhail Sergachev: 8 years/$68M
Anthony Cirelli: 8 years/$50M
Erik Cernak: 8 years/$41.6M
Philippe Myers: 1 year/$1.4M

Sergachev is the headliner – as he will step into a bigger role among the Lightning defensemen particularly with the losses of McDonagh and Rutta. That means playing regularly in the top 4 and likely more ice time for the 24-year old, who averaged 22:28 in 78 games last season, 2nd on the team behind Victor Hedman (25:05).

Speaking of Hedman, he was the anchor of a Lightning defense that helped the team post a 51-23-8 record for 110 points, the 3rd-highest total in franchise history.



Andrei Vasilevskiy, once again, topped the NHL in wins last season – sharing the honor with Sergei Bobrovsky of the Panthers, each with 39.

Big Cat became the first goaltender in the NHL’s expansion era (since 1967-68) – and 3rd in League history to at least share the NHL lead in wins in 5 consecutive seasons (2017-18 to 2021-22). Only Clint Benedict (6 straight from 1918-19 to 1923-24) and Terry Sawchuk (5 straight from 1950-51 to 1954-55) have had a run of that length


Jon Coopers team will once again be a Stanley Cup contender.  No doubt.  Despite some losses,  their core players remain solid and they have one of the best goaltenders on the planet.  We will have more today on the Shemon and Sheppard Show.

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