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Will the Lightning three-peat as Stanley Cup champions? Our staff weighs in

Which team will be the biggest surprise? The most disappointing? Win the Stanley Cup?
Ross Colton certainly closed out last season on a high note, scoring the lone goal against the Canadiens in the Stanley Cup clincher.
Ross Colton certainly closed out last season on a high note, scoring the lone goal against the Canadiens in the Stanley Cup clincher. [ DIRK SHADD | Times ]
Published Oct. 12

What’s in store for the league this season? Our staff has thoughts.

Lightning have a shot at the Stanley Cup if …

Will Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy be as dominant as he was last season?
Will Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy be as dominant as he was last season? [ DIRK SHADD | Times ]

Eduardo A. Encina, beat writer: No. 88 is between the pipes

Mari Faiello, staff writer: Avoid burnout, stay healthy

John Romano, sports columnist: Bud Lite keeps Nikita Kucherov happy

Frank Pastor, assistant sports editor: Andrei Vasilevskiy stays healthy, fresh

Biggest threat to the Lightning’s Stanley Cup hopes?

The Lightning celebrate as they beat the Islanders 1-0 in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup semifinals in June.
The Lightning celebrate as they beat the Islanders 1-0 in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup semifinals in June. [ DIRK SHADD | Times ]

Encina: Islanders

Faiello: Islanders

Romano: Panthers

Pastor: Islanders

Which team will be the biggest surprise?

The expansion Seattle Kraken start their inaugural season.
The expansion Seattle Kraken start their inaugural season. [ DEREK LEUNG | Getty Images North America ]

Encina: Kraken

Faiello: Kraken

Romano: Flyers

Pastor: Blackhawks

Which team will be the biggest disappointment?

Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette, top center, looks on during a preseason game.
Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette, top center, looks on during a preseason game. [ NICK WASS | Associated Press ]

Encina: Capitals

Faiello: Maple Leafs

Romano: Golden Knights

Pastor: Canadiens

Which team will win the Atlantic Division?

Lightning center Brayden Point (21) scores, beating Panthers goaltender Spencer Knight during Game 6 of the first-round playoffs last season.
Lightning center Brayden Point (21) scores, beating Panthers goaltender Spencer Knight during Game 6 of the first-round playoffs last season. [ DIRK SHADD | Times ]

Encina: Lightning

Faiello: Lightning

Romano: Panthers

Pastor: Lightning

Which team will win the Eastern Conference?

Lightning center Steven Stamkos (91), right, carries the Prince of Wales Trophy to the locker room moments after the team beat the Islanders last postseason.
Lightning center Steven Stamkos (91), right, carries the Prince of Wales Trophy to the locker room moments after the team beat the Islanders last postseason. [ DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times ]

Encina: Lightning

Faiello: Lightning

Romano: Panthers

Pastor: Lightning

Which team will not advance to the postseason?

Montreal players look on as the Lightning celebrate their 1-0 victory to win the Stanley Cup in July.
Montreal players look on as the Lightning celebrate their 1-0 victory to win the Stanley Cup in July. [ DIRK SHADD | Times ]

Encina: Hurricanes

Faiello: Blue Jackets

Romano: Canadiens

Pastor: Canadiens

Which teams will meet in the Stanley Cup final?

Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) and right wing Nikita Kucherov (86) work to stop Golden Knights center Jonathan Marchessault (81) during February 2020 game in Tampa.
Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) and right wing Nikita Kucherov (86) work to stop Golden Knights center Jonathan Marchessault (81) during February 2020 game in Tampa. [ DIRK SHADD | Tampa Bay Times ]

Encina: Lightning, Avalanche

Faiello: Lightning, Avalanche

Romano: Panthers, Avalanche

Pastor: Lightning, Golden Knights

Which team will win the Stanley Cup?

Lightning left wing Pat Maroon (14) skates with the Stanley Cup, his third in a row.
Lightning left wing Pat Maroon (14) skates with the Stanley Cup, his third in a row. [ IVY CEBALLO | Times ]

Encina: Lightning

Faiello: Lightning

Romano: Panthers

Pastor: Lightning

Who will be the most outstanding player for the Lightning?

Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman is healthy again and likely to be a usual powerhouse in the lineup.
Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman is healthy again and likely to be a usual powerhouse in the lineup. [ DIRK SHADD | Times ]

Encina: Andrei Vasilevskiy

Faiello: Victor Hedman

Romano: Brayden Point

Pastor: Andrei Vasilevskiy

Who will be the breakout star for the Lightning?

Lightning right wing Mathieu Joseph will get increased ice time this season.
Lightning right wing Mathieu Joseph will get increased ice time this season. [ DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times ]

Encina: Ross Colton

Faiello: Mathieu Joseph

Romano: Mathieu Joseph

Pastor: Mathieu Joseph

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