Tampa Bay has opened at Sbgglobal as a +3500 choice to win the Stanley Cup in 2011.
Tampa Bay has new ownership and management as long time Detroit Red Wing star Steve Yzerman takes over as general manager with Guy Boucher running the Lightning bench this year. Yzerman has front office experience from his post playing days at Detroit and has given the entire organization reason for optimism heading into a new era.
New owner Jeff Vinik has impressed the Tampa community with his commitment to excellence and his desire to build what he describes as a world class organization. For a franchise that has often operated on the margin that was most welcome news. The previous ownership group was poorly funded and could not afford to sustain a competitive roster and that served to turn off an already fickle fan base.
Boucher Takes Command
Boucher has only 1 year of head coaching experience in the American Hockey League but has wasted no time putting his stamp on the program. He is an innovator that won AHL coach of the year honors with tactics that are new to many NHL betting experts. He would double team and use a 1-3-1 alignment that was scoffed at until it produced results.
A Budding Superstar
Steven Stamkos tied Pittsburgh superstar Sidney Crosby’s mark for most goals in the NHL by a second year player and is a key NHL betting online asset for the Lighting that is considered to be on the verge of breaking out on his own as a big name star.
Stamkos joins long time Tampa Bay fixtures Martin St. Louis and Vincent Lecavalier, along with Ryan Malone and Simon Gagne to make for a lineup that has plenty of firepower and ability to stay in every game that they play.
Mike Smith has not been able to develop into a trusted starter so Yzerman acquired Dan Ellis for Nashville to compete for the top job. Tampa Bay ranked 27th in NHL betting for goals against last year and if they can get substantial improvement to go with a potentially great offense they can make a serious run at the playoffs.