2. Do the Tampa Bay Lightning still have what it takes to win now?
This is going to be the main question throughout this offseason and most of the 2023-24 season. Do the Lightning still have what it takes to win? It kind of seemed like the wheels were falling off most of last season, and this year is not going to get easier. The Lightning have other teams behind them getting better.
Toronto and Boston still are committed to winning now. Florida will be a strong contender after their run to the Stanley Cup Final this year. Detroit and Buffalo are not going to be content with a small improvement this upcoming year, they want to make the playoffs. Additionally Montreal and Ottawa are both improving.
The Atlantic Division is not going to be a cakewalk for the Lightning. They cannot hit the auto pilot button and expect to wake up in early April getting ready for their playoff run. This upcoming season is going to require a lot of this team.
With that in mind, I still wouldn’t bet against the Lightning to succeed. Even if the team losing Killorn, Perry or Cole they still have Point, Stamkos, Cirelli, Hagel, Hedman, Sergachev and Vasilevskiy. This team still has the pieces, but there are some huge hurdles to jump in the coming seasons.