Team Recap: 16th-Seeded ’03-’04 Tampa Bay Lightning

The #16 seed in the inaugural Ultimate NHL Playoff, the '03-'04 Tampa Bay Lightning.

The #16 seed in the inaugural Ultimate NHL Playoff, the ’03-’04 Tampa Bay Lightning.

  • Dmitry Afanasenkov (LW)
    • 11 GP   1 G   1 A   2 P   -4   14 S   0 GWG   0 PIM   0 Stars
  • Dave Andreychuk (LW)
    • 11 GP   1 G   0 A   1 P   -7   23 S   0 GWG   0 PIM   0 Stars
  • Dan Boyle (D)
    • 11 GP   1 G   4 A   5 P   -4   20 S   0 GWG   4 PIM   0 Stars
  • Martin Cibak (C)
    • 11 GP   0 G   0 A   0 P   -4   12 S   0 GWG   0 PIM   0 Stars
  • Ben Clymer (RW)
    • 11 GP   0 G   0 A   0 P   -7   23 S   0 GWG   2 PIM   0 Stars
  • Jassen Cullimore (D)
    • 11 GP   0 G   2 A   2 P   -2   11 S   0 GWG   2 PIM   0 Stars
  • Ruslan Fedotenko (RW)
    • 11 GP   2 G   3 A   5 P   +1   17 S   0 GWG   0 PIM   0 Stars
  • John Grahame (G)
    • 2 GP   0-0-0   0.50 GAA   .963 SV% (27 SA)   0 SO   0 Stars
  • Nikolai Khabibulin (G)
    • 11 GP   4-6-1   2.73 GAA   .923 SV%   1 SO   10 Stars
  • Pavel Kubina (D)
    • 11 GP   1 G   5 A   6 P   -4   21 S   0 GWG   0 PIM   0 Stars
  • Vincent Lecavalier (C)
    • 11 GP   2 G   5 A   7 P   Even   33 S   1 GWG   0 PIM   2 Stars
  • Brad Lukowich (D)
    • 11 GP   1 G   0 A   1 P   -7   17 S   0 GWG   0 PIM   0 Stars
  • Fredrik Modin (LW)
    • 11 GP   5 G   2 A   7 P   Even   40 S   1 GWG   2 PIM   2 Stars
  • Nolan Pratt (D)
    • 11 GP   0 G   0 A   0 P   -7   8 S   0 GWG   4 PIM   0 Stars
  • Brad Richards (C)
    • 11 GP   2 G   3 A   5 P   -2   43 S   1 GWG   2 PIM   1 Stars
  • Cory Sarich (D)
    • 11 GP   0 G   1 A   1 P   -2   17 S   0 GWG   8 PIM   0 Stars
  • Martin St. Louis (RW)
    • 11 GP   3 G   6 A   9 P   -3   25 S   1 GWG   2 PIM   0 Stars
  • Cory Stillman (LW)
    • 11 GP   2 G   4 A   6 P   -2   23 S   0 GWG   2 PIM   0 Stars
  • Tim Taylor (C)
    • 11 GP   0 G   0 A   0 P   -7   15 S   0 GWG   2 PIM   0 Stars
  • Shane Willis (RW)
    • 11 GP   1 G   1 A   2 P   -4   13 S   0 GWG   0 PIM   0 Stars

Bold – Team Best

Team Stats:

  • Record: 4-6-1
  • Goals Scored: 22
  • Goals/Game: 2.00
  • Goals Allowed: 32
  • Goals Allowed/Game: 2.91
  • Shots: 378
  • Shots Allowed: 415
  • Shots/Game: 34.4
  • Shots Allowed/Game: 37.7
  • # of PP’s: 17
  • PPG’s: 6
  • PP%: 35.3%
  • TSH: 13
  • PPGA: 2
  • PK%: 84.6%
  • Penalties in minutes: 30

This was the team that put the Lightning franchise on the map. They went up against another one of the league’s best in the Conference Finals and then fought off a never-say-die underdog to win the franchises only Cup. I knew this team was good, but in this tournament, they were in the path of the Montreal Canadiens and they ultimately took them down.

1st Round:

Bye

2nd Round:

Came back from down 3-0 to win 4-3 over 17th-seeded ’98-’99 Carolina Hurricanes

3rd Round:

Swept by top-seeded ’76-’77 Montreal Canadiens

The ’03-’04 Tampa Bay Lightning finished the regular season with a record of 46-22-8-6, which was good for 106 points and 1st in the Southeast Division. Under the fiery and hysterical John Tortorella, the Lightning were 3rd in the league in goals for (245) and 10th in goals against (192). Hockey Reference ranked Tampa’s strength of schedule as dead last in the league and their SRS rating system had Tampa as the 3rd best team in the league. The Lightning had an easy time in the first two rounds of the playoffs. They defeated the New York Islanders in five games in the Conference Quarterfinals. Then, they swept the Montreal Canadiens in the Conference Semifinals. They faced a stiffer test in the Conference Finals, but outlasted a very talented Philadelphia Flyers clinch a spot in the finals in seven games. In the Stanley Cup Final, they faced the Calgary Flames, but it took seven games to finally eliminate a surprising Flames team and the Lightning needed a double overtime winner to force a Game 7.

Offensively, the ’03-’04 Lightning were led by Martin St. Louis. He finished with a team-high 38 goals, a team-high 56 assists and a team-high 94 points. Cory Stillman and Brad Richards were second and third on the team in points with 80 and 79, respectively. Stillman and Richards were also second and third on the team in assists with 55 and 53, respectively. Vincent Lecavalier finished second on the team in goals with 32 and Fredrik Modin was third with 29. Back on the blue line, defensemen Dan Boyle and Pavel Kubina made impacts on offense with Kubina potting 17 goals and Boyle registering 30 assists. St. Louis also led the team in plus/minus at +35 and Modin and defenseman Brad Lukowich were second and third at +31 and +29, respectively. In goal, Tampa was led by Nikolai Khabibulin, who had a pretty average regular season. He posted a 2.33 goals against average and a .910 save percentage. However, he really turned it up in the postseason and was nearly unbeatable. He posted a 1.71 goals against average and a .933 save percentage in the playoffs. The Lightning had a full trophy case after the season ended. Besides the Cup, Richards was awarded both the Conn Smythe Trophy and the Lady Byng Trophy, St. Louuis was awarded the Art Ross Trophy, the Hart Memorial Trophy, the Lester B. Pearson Award and the NHL Plus/Minus Award, and Tortorella was awarded the Jack Adams Award.

Up next is the #17 seed, the ’98-’99 Carolina Hurricanes!

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