The Lightning are the most explosive offense in the NHL. Just about everyone on team is finding the net. There are 12 different players that have lit the lamp in just five games.
With 24 goals, the Lightning lead the league. Nate Thompson is one of the few players without a goal.
"It doesn't matter to me," said Thompson with a grin. "As long as we are winning. If I don't score the rest of the year and we win every game I'll be happy."
In the NFL, coaches spend countless hours drawing up plays to score. In the NHL, coaches do diagram plays, but when it comes to scoring in the NHL, it's not so much what's drawn up on the board. It's what players draw up on the ice.
"The majority of our goals have all been in front of the net," said Thompson. "Kind of rebounds or tips and stuff like that. So it's not really drawing up plays. It's just getting to the net, getting in front of the net and banging it home."
"It's not all fancy play," said Steven Stamkos. "Obviously our coaching staff does a good job preparing us for each game, but for the most part it's reading and reacting on the ice."
The Lightning have a surplus of creative scorers. But's it's their upgraded defense that's been the difference. Depth on D is lessening the burden on Eric Brewer. Brewer's ice time has been reduced by 3:30 minutes and he's been more effective, scoring three goals on just four shots.
"Yeah, it might be a bit generous on the four shots," said Brewer. "I have a couple more than that. I sure hope I do."
"Same shots as last year, just some are going in."
"He just drained last year," Boucher said of Brewer's extended ice time. "Now he gets the opportunity to be put in the slot that he can handle and be his best every night. It's certainly showing."
Limiting opponents' scoring chances creates more chances for the Lightning. After surrendering a goal in the opening minute to the Flyers, the Lightning suffocated Philly the rest of the game, allowing just five scoring chances the rest of the game. And that has Guy Boucher's attention.
"Five scoring chances, just so you know, is unbelievable," said Boucher.
The range for regular season game is 14 to 22. Over the last five years in the final two rounds of the Stanley Cup playoffs, teams have averaged just eight scoring chances per game, to put the Lightning's performance into perspective.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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