The Lightning has but to play a postseason game.
It squandered its hazard to set a brand new single-season NHL document for victories.
It nonetheless has to win its very last two video games even to tie the 1995-96 Red Wings’ mark of 62.
Never thoughts all that.
The 2018-19 Lightning, which takes a 60-16-4 report into tonight’s recreation in opposition to the Maple Leafs, is the excellent hockey team ever assembled, keeping with Yahoo! Sports hockey columnist Ryan Lambert. “There changed into little doubt that this wouldn’t be one of the best teams within the league,” Lambert writes. “Probably the favorite for the Presidents’ Trophy, if we’re sincere. Instead, they ended up becoming satisfactory of all time. The Lightning managed to become just the 0.33 crew in NHL records to win 60 video games, despite gambling at a time while groups’ spending is limited using an income cap, and the league is more competitive than ever, Lambert writes.
The ’ ninety-five-ninety-six Red Wings and ’76-‘seventy seven Canadiens — the handiest other groups except the Lightning to win 60 or more games — had the gain of gambling earlier than the profits cap, Lambert factors out. The Wings, who performed five teams with fewer than 27 wins a complete of 18 times, padded their win general towards weaker competition, current expansion groups, and underfunded golf equipment. Plus, they spent lavishly on their roster.
Meanwhile, more than 1/2 — 10 of 17 — of the opposite teams inside the league the year the Canadiens reached the 60-win mark had facts under .500. They also benefitted from seeing a play style the rest of the league never did, thanks to scheduled exhibitions against the Soviet team. “As for the Lightning, well, they can nevertheless tie Detroit’s file of 62 wins, and at a time while there’s greater expertise being allotted extra frivolously than ever all through the league,” Lambert writes.
“There’s extra travel than ever. Everyone’s smarter, in higher shape, all that stuff. Teams actively play to get to a time beyond regulation and the shootout to get the loser point. Even the absolute worst teams within the league aren’t as bad because of the worst the Red Wings or Canadiens could have faced.
“It hasn’t much mattered.” Of route, Lambert acknowledged, there are nonetheless paintings to be performed. “They can’t hit 132 (factors), and whether or not they hit or miss 62 wins, this Lightning group is the first-class ever assembled.,” Lambert writes. “They just gotta win a Cup, I wager.”