Welcome to Julylights, a month long series taking the top plays of the '11-'12 season and giving them to you one a day, every day of the month of July.
The Tampa Bay Lightning entered last season with high hopes. Just months prior, they came up just short of a bid to the Stanley Cup Finals, and they wanted to take another shot at making a run at the Cup last season. But things did not play out that way.
The Lightning did not qualify for the playoffs, and forward, Steven Stamkos, proved to be the only consistant bright spot through out the season. Outside of Stamkos, players would chip in and occasionally produce the highlight reel, or clutch goal.
Much like Ryan Malone did with his goal against the Winnipeg Jets. (Video after the jump)
This is just a great play by Malone. To be able flip the puck up-and-over the defenseman, and turn on the jets to pull away for the breakaway goal is just pure skill. Sure the defenseman fell and he started at a dead-stop off of a face-off, but countless defenseman make that play every day in the NHL.
Here's to hoping the Lightning have a better season next year, because we all know we would rather have them be the successful Florida franchise and not the Panthers.