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NHL Power Rankings 2011: Tampa Bay Lightning Weekly Update

The Tampa Bay Lightning have recently turned their game around admirably. We check in with some NHL power rankings to see whether the experts agree.

The 2011-2012 NHL season is scarcely even four weeks old, but already the power rankings are pouring in. I know you're curious about where your Tampa Bay Lightning stand, so let's take a look.

ESPN has their power rankings up, although they post theirs a bit earlier than other sites. They rank the Lightning at number 18 out of the 30 teams overall, but that's a big step up from their 24th-place finish the week before. Here's what they have to say about the Lightning:

After giving up 24 goals in in their opening six games, the Lightning tightened up and allowed only one total in back-to-back wins. Yes, coach Guy Boucher was heard loud and clear.

FOX Sports on MSN has the Lightning ranked right in the middle of the pack at number 16, again making a big five-slot move upwards from the previous week. Their blurb also spoke to Tampa Bay's marked improvement from week to week:

Mathieu Garon has stopped the bleeding in net as the Bolts rebounded from a five-game losing streak with good wins over the Islanders and Sabres

Lastly, the folks at The Hockey News (and who would know hockey better than them?) had the Lightning all the way up at number 14 overall, and also spoke of Garon getting the team back on track.

All three teams had the Washington Capitals listed as number one overall, for good reason. Hopefully the Lightning will continue to show improvement. It's a long season, after all, and it's only just begun.

Disagree? Agree all too well? Let the other Tampa Bay fans hear about it over at Raw Charge.

Photographs by cstreet.us, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.