5-on-5: Five Lightning Players To Watch

 5-on-5 is a segment that looks quickly into things such as players, games and streaks.

The Tampa Bay Lightning exceeded expectations last year not only as a team but some players made a name for themselves as well. Players like Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat and Ben Bishop put the Bolts in a playoff spot as well as on the map in terms of award nominations.

Here are five players that Lightning fans should keep an eye on:

RW: Nikita Kucherov

Lightning_Kucherov_2014

Nikita Kucherov showed how brilliant he could be at times for the Bolts and if only he could have been able to finish some of his chances he would have had a few more goals. The point is, if Kucherov stays in the NHL be on the lookout to see him grow in offensively as well as defensively. The only problem is there may not be room for him to see ice time every night, so he might be going back to the AHL.

G: Ben Bishop

Bishop

Ben Bishop was a major reason the Lightning made the playoffs this year as he posted 37 wins and 5 shutouts. Unfortunately, Bishop injured his wrist and his elbow. Those injuries kept him out of the playoffs and unavailable to prevent the Lightning from being swept by the Montreal Canadians. The question is will Ben Bishop suffer from a sophomore slump? Will those injuries prevent him from being at the top of his game?

RW: J.T. Brown

Nikita Kucherov, Matt Carle, J.T. Brown

J.T. Brown is another one that suffers from not being able to finish his offensive moves. Brown has some wheels for sure and went through a goal drought near the end of the season but that didn’t stop him from being a presence for the Lightning. He is another one that might have to sit in the press box as there aren’t very many winger positions available. Brown has energy and speed that will be an asset to any line combination that coach Jon Cooper is making each night.

LW: Brenden Morrow

Penguins_Brenden_Morrow_NHL_2013

Brenden Morrow was one of the most intriguing signings of the offseason. It seemed like the Lightning were set at the wing position. Then they signed Morrow as some veteran experience. It’s going to be interesting to see how Morrow does with the Bolts as he is nearing the end of his career quite honestly and hasn’t played a full season in a few years. Hopefully he will be able to give the team more depth than anything. It’s going to be interesting to see how Morrow is used in a nightly lineup.

LW Jonathan Drouin

Lightning_Jonathan_Drouin_2013

Of course one can’t talk about the Lightning and not be convinced that Jonathan Drouin is someone to watch. After missing making the team last year, Drouin has only gotten stronger and at times looked bored in his final season with the Halifax Mooseheads last year.  He average near or above two points per game and took the Moosheads to the playoffs again.  Drouin will more  than likely make the team this year and possibly be on that top line with Steven Stamkos  as a replacement for former Bolt Martin St. Louis. Where Drouin ends up and how he does in his first NHL season will be interesting.

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