We've already have one Tampa expert in for a BB (WB Philp from Hockey Independant was the other) but we're lucky enough to double up as John Fontana from Raw Charge was nice enough to answer seven fantasy questions related to the Lightning for us.
With players like Stamkos, St. Louis and Lecavalier the Bolts have one of the strongest PP's in the league. That's why I know I'm keen to hear John take on who will be QBing that group this year... among other things.
Like with all our BB's, we recommend you check out Raw Charge. It's a great place to go if you have any queries related to the Bolts.
If you're interested in FHS' breakout picks and fantasy take on the Bolts check out our draft kit which includes The Breakout Bible, the Fantasy Scouting Report (with SuperStats included) and our Fantasy Prospect Database.
BY JOHN FONTANA FROM RAW CHARGE
Q1) Lightning Breakout of the Year?
Technically, he broke out last year when he finally played consistently in the NHL and was playing with Vincent Lecavalier, but RW Teddy Purcell is the one I'd watch in Tampa. He notched 51 points in 81 games last season with the Bolts, coming on strongest in the second half when paired with Lecavalier. The two should be together to start the season, and Purcell has seen time on the Bolts power play unit this preseason. that should bode well for his numbers.
Q2) Darkhorse Breakout on the Tampa Bay Lightning?
Ryan Shannon. Signed as a UFA from the Ottawa Senators, Shannon may end up in the top-six in Tampa... Or perhaps on the third line (thus why he's the dark horse). He's playing with his mentor, Martin St. Louis, in a system that emphasizes speed and grit.
Q3) League-Wide Breakout of the Year?
I'm not sure about this one. I'm wondering if John Tavares is poised to capture the league's attention this season, but would it be called a "breakout"?
Jordan Eberle playing a full season in Edmonton with the maturing skill around him... That could get real interesting.
Q4) Player likely to Breakdown on the Tampa Bay Lightning?
I'd catch hell from the fans, but I'm looking at Ryan Malone to factor in less - if not fall down and go boom. I may be dead wrong here, but it just feels like he factors in less and less while battling injuries.
Q5) Best Fantasy Prospect on the Tampa Bay Lightning?
For immediate dividends, it may turn out to be Cory Conacher who is doing everything right and impressing the hell out of everyone. The former Hobey Baker finalist scores and plays responsibly.
Long term: Brett Connolly is showing people why he was drafted so high in 2010, in spite of injury concerns.
Q6) How do you see the Tampa Bay Lightning Goalie Situation playing out this year?
Dwayne Roloson is the #1 starter, Garon will be the "backup"... But anyone can look at Roloson's age (42) and immediately state that Garon is in for more starts than the team is letting on. I personally doubt that. It'll likely be a 40/30 game split between the two goalies.
Q7) Who is going to QB the talented PP? Brett Clark led the team in PPP, but Marc-Andre Bergeron led the team in PP TOI / game. Matt Gilroy? Victor Hedman?
I think we'll see Hedman getting more time on the PP, but he's got to stop committing stupid turnovers. Gilroy will see time, if not immediately then eventually, on the power play... but he's adapting to the 1-3-1. Once he shows he can play responsibly in both ends under the system, coach Boucher may give him time on the PP unit.
But as it stands, I expect Brett Clark to continue to see plenty of time to begin the season. Bergeron will play, but one must remember he's the 7th defenseman on the team. That means playing time isn't guaranteed (even if Boucher enjoys having the "option" of playing 7 D-men on some nights).
Thanks to John. A great job. If you have any other Tampa questions hit us up with a comment below.