With the Tampa Bay’s 6-2 win over the Toronto this past Monday, the Lightning became only the 7th team in NHL history to reach 110 points through 70 games.
They joined the Montreal Canadiens (1975-76, 1976-77 and 1977-78), Boston Bruins (1970-71 and 1971-72) and Detroit Red Wings (1995-96) for this statistical landmark. Also in their crosshairs is a 60 win season and a chance for record-breaking season. With twelve games remaining, the Tampa Bay Lightning have a chance to set or tie an NHL record for most wins in a season.
They currently have 53 wins (53-13-4). The 1995-96 Detroit Red Wings are the current record holder with 62 wins (62-17-3). There have only been two teams in the history of the NHL to reach the 60 win mark in a season. The other being the 1975-76 Montreal Canadiens.
Can the Lightning tie or break the record? Yes, if they continue on their current pace with a 75.7% win percentage, they would win nine of their final twelve games and finish with 62 wins, however, it will be tough… Very tough. Working against them is the fact that only two of their final twelve opponents (Detroit and Ottawa) aren’t fighting for a playoff spot or jockeying for a higher seed and home-ice advantage in the opening round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Another is the fact that most teams who have secured the overall #1 seed tend to like rest its stars a bit in the final week of the season in preparation for the long grueling Stanley Cup playoffs. Although the odds seem a bit stiff that the Lightning will break record.
However, a tie at 62 wins, or even becoming only the third NHL team to reach 60 wins, along with a Stanley Cup Championship would put their name near the towards the top of the list of greatest NHL teams of all-time. The Lightning are my pick to win it all this year.