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What they're saying about the Tampa Bay Lightning for 2011-12

The Lightning should challenge for the Southeast Division title and fall somewhere in the fourth to sixth seed range. As long as they make the playoffs, they have the talent to make anyone sweat in a best-of-seven series. — Pro Hockey Talk

The Lightning will wholly fail to replicate their success from the stretch run and playoffs last year for some unknown reason … their goalie is HOW old? — Yahoo Sports

Never underestimate the power of putting a good product on the ice. The Lightning's recent successes and stability have translated into instant rewards for the franchise beyond points in the standings. The Bolts have seen the sale of full-season ticket packages double from 5,000 a year ago to more than 10,000 for the upcoming season, and preseason sales continue to increase that number. That kind of fan commitment makes it easier to lure free agents and sign existing players, as the Lightning did this past summer. Funny how that works out. — Scott Burnside,

With stability in ownership (Jeff Vinik), management acumen (GM Steve Yzerman) and a brash young bench boss (Guy Boucher), it was a heady 12 months for the Bolts and their fans. … This is a good team and a sound organization again. The Lightning will be in the Cup-contender mix this season and beyond. — Darren Eliot,

One goal. That's all that separated the Bolts from the eventual Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins. The team that now must be looked at as the benchmark for success in today's NHL was better than Tampa for less than eight minutes in a decisive Eastern Conference Game 7. Dwayne Roloson was just one goal worse than eventual Conn Smythe winner Tim Thomas. This team was close last year. One more year of maturity might be all they need to take the next step. —

The Lightning were a surprise playoff team in 2010-11, but they won't be able to sneak up on anybody this season. Then again, when your offensive firepower is supplied by the likes of Steven Stamkos, Martin St. Louis and Vincent Lecavalier, the element of surprise can be overrated. — The Sports Network

What they're saying about the Tampa Bay Lightning for 2011-12 10/07/11 [Last modified: Friday, October 7, 2011 5:22pm]
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