2023 Tampa Bay Lightning Predictions with Futures Odds and Expert NHL Picks
Summary of last season
Last season, the Tampa Bay Lightning went on to post 98 points, snagging the last guaranteed spot in the Atlantic. They had most of their success at home, finishing 28-8-5, while posting a lowly 18-22-1 record away from Tampa. Their success in the regular season did not translate to the postseason, where they would go on to fall in six games to the Maple Leafs. It was an incredibly hard-fought series, with three of the four losses coming in overtime.
Nikita Kucherov led the team with 113 points which was also good for third in the league. His 83 assists gave him a second-place finish behind Connor McDavid. Despite all that success, Kucherov would go on to finish with a -2 +/- rating. C’s Brayden Point and Steven Stamkos left their marks on the season, as they would go on to finish with 95 and 84 points, respectively.
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Seasons come and go, so now it’s time to take a look at what we can expect from the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2023-24:
Tampa Bay lost Alex Killorn when he signed with Anaheim this offseason, and they would also see D Ian Cole and LW Pierre-Edouard Bellemare depart as well. They were also quite busy in the trade department this offseason. In attempts to get younger and shed some money, the Lightning shipped F Corey Perry to Chicago while also sending F Pat Maroon to Minnesota. In a somewhat surprising move, they sent Ross Colton to Colorado for a second-round pick.
Despite some notable losses, Tampa Bay reloaded by signing F Conor Sheary (37 points with WAS), veteran F Luke Glendening (DAL), D Calvin de Haan (CAR), and Tyler Motte (NYR). They also extended trade acquisition, Tanner Jeannot, for two years.
The old guys upfront- The meaning of old when describing the top line is exaggerated a bit, but Kucherov, Point, and Stamkos are all over 30 now. Those three accounted for 38% of the offensive production for the Lightning and will need to be just as good if not better with Killorn’s departure. They are not getting any younger. And though they have plenty of time on the ice left, the depth isn’t great in Tampa.
Andrei Vasilevskiy will be as reliable as he always has been for Tampa Bay. The 29-year-old has allowed just 2.45 GA/G over the last three campaigns totaling 145 games in that span. Vasilevskiy is the most consistent goalie in this league.
Key Schedule Stretch
November 30th- December 16th- Tampa Bay will play nine games in this span, with just three of them being at home. Those three home games? Dallas and Pittsburgh (twice). Not a kind draw when the remainder of the stretch is on the road. The remainder of the stretch includes a trip to Dallas, then nine days on the road with trips to Nashville, Seattle, Vancouver, Edmonton, and Calgary.
Tampa Bay Lightning Odds
Stanley Cup Champions - +2000
Conference Winner - +950
Division Winner - +600
To Make the Playoffs – Yes -190
Hart Trophy- Nikita Kucherov- +2500
Vezina Trophy- Andrei Vasilevskiy- +800
The goalie situation is great. The top line is elite. The depth is a HUGE question mark. I don’t think the depth issues will show up until we get later into the season and in the playoffs. With Toronto projecting to win the Atlantic, perhaps a first-round date with Boston is in the distance. This team will have to rely on their guys to perform like last season in order to stave off a much-improved division overall, but they will earn a guaranteed spot once again this season.
Team Win total- Over 96.5
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