Here is the Dec. 3 edition of Rosen's weekly mailbag, which will run every Wednesday during the season. If you have a question, tweet it to @drosennhl and use #OvertheBoards.
Let's get to it:
Do the Tampa Bay Lightning strike you as a legitimate Stanley Cup contender now? Or do they need other pieces? -- @tblightning491
The Lightning don't need other pieces. They are deep, skilled and talented. They have three legitimate scoring lines. They have defensemen who pressure the puck all over the ice and pinch into the offensive zone and are able to sustain puck possession. They don't defend; they attack. They have an elite power play, an elite scorer in Steven Stamkos, and a goalie in Ben Bishop who was a Vezina Trophy finalist last season and has been solid this season. They also have a coach who appears to know how to push all the right buttons while staying on the good side of his players, an important attribute in dealing with athletes today.
But I can't say the Lightning have everything necessary to contend for the Stanley Cup this season. They are not battle-tested. They have not been hardened by a long, grueling Stanley Cup Playoff series. As individuals several players have playoff experience, but as a team they do not. That's the only thing that is keeping the Lightning back this season.