Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 01/11/11 at 12:48 AM ET
from Damian Cristodero of the St. Petersburg Times,
A year removed from being one of the league’s most dysfunctional franchises, the Lightning is first in the Southeast Division and entered Monday second in the Eastern Conference. Had it beaten the lowly Devils on Sunday, it would have been tied for first.
And there is this: At 25-13-5, the Lightning has a better record and more points (55) after 43 games than any team in franchise history, including the winners of the 2004 Stanley Cup, who had 49.
“So, is it premature to say they are a Stanley Cup contender? I’m not so sure,” former NHL executive Craig Button said.
“You have to say they have as good a chance as anybody of winning the East,” said Scotty Morrison, an analyst for CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada. “Once they get past that, who knows? So, yeah, they have a legitimate shot at it.”
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