When we last examined the Lightning record, we saw a late-October pace similar to that of four teams from last year: the Atlanta Thrashers, the Carolina Hurricanes, the Philadelphia Flyers, and the Phoenix Coyotes. Two playoff teams, two non-playoff teams, one division winner. So now, 11 days into November (Happy Veterans Day), we take another snapshot of this season and compare it to last. Who do we compare to?
The Bolts currently sit at 8-5-2, three points ahead of a point per game pace. On this day last year, only one team held a +3 against a point per game pace, and that team was also 8-5-2. Who was it? Why, the Tampa Bay Lightning. Those Bolts had scored 46 goals and allowed 45, while these Bolts have scored 46 goals and allowed 47. The difference is that those Bolts were in the midst of a 1-3-1 slide after a 7-2-1 start, while these have won three straight. But the November 11th snapshot says that the team this year is pretty much right where they were last year. We can only hope that players returning from injury can serve the same role as mid-season acquisitions of Dwayne Roloson and Eric Brewer did last year.
Other interesting notes from the 11/11/10 snapshot:
*The top four teams in the league: Washington Capitals, Los Angeles Kings, Detroit Red Wings, and St. Louis Blues. Only three of those teams made the playoffs, two won their division, and none made it to the conference finals.
*Three teams had already racked up 12 losses: New Jersey Devils, New York Islanders, and Buffalo Sabres. Buffalo actually came back to make the playoffs and nearly won their first round series. And the Devils sure gave it all they had.
*Just behind the Lightning with a pace of +2 were the Dallas Stars, San Jose Sharks, Minnesota Wild, and Anaheim [Damn Dirty] Ducks. Two of the four made the playoffs, one won the division and made the Western Conference Finals.