If there's anyone John Tavares may want to model his sophomore season after, it's Lightning center Steve Stamkos, who more than doubled his 23-goal rookie season with 51 goals in his second season for Tamp Bay.
What contributed to such a colossal leap?
"I'd say the confidence, the great players around me and an extra year of off-season training," Stamkos said after this morning's skate.
Knowing the significant progress he made from Year One to Year Two, Stamkos thinks Tavares could be poised to make a similar transition.
"He can be a 50-goal scorer, no problem Stamkos said.
"He's a great player and he's so smart in the offensive zone. He's got a great shot, great vision and the sky is really the limit for him.
Former Islander Sean Bergenheim is off to a good start with his new team. He scored his first goal of the season in the team's 5-4 win over Dallas October 18.
Bergenheim, who spent the past five seasons with the Islanders after being selected by NY in the first round of the 2002 draft, said he won't have any extra butterflies tonight despite the familiar faces he'll see on the opposing bench.
"I haven't thought about it that much. The only difference is that some of the guys we're playing against are friends, but they won't be friends on the ice."
Fellow former Islander Nate Thompson has also thrived since Tampa Bay claimed him off waivers from the Islanders last season.
Thompson said there's a good vibe in the Lightning room with a fresh start this season and a strong 4-1-0 record through the first five games. Said he also really likes new head coach Guy Boucher's New-Age coaching style.
Vinny Lecavalier said he felt much better after a couple modifications to the taping of his finger, today but will still be a game-time decision for tonight's game.