Stamkos – The Toughest S.O.B. There Is

From Stamkos skated in his full team skate since snapping his leg against a goal post in Boston last November. His recovery has been remarkable and both and has articles regarding his current status and injury. Here's those links, both great pieces:|TBL|home

Here's video of Stamkos talking with media.

All that is well and great, but I'd like to spend a second on the toughness of Tampa's #91. Few people outside of Tampa, and even in Tampa for that matter, are aware that during the playoff run his third season in the Bolt's sweater Stamkos broke his sternum in the team's first playoff game the 2010-2011 season. Link to effects of a sternal fracture. He played every playoff game with a broken chest. That is grit. Tampa wasn't a quick exit that year either. They advanced deep to being one goal away from the Stanley Cup Finals, going seven games against who would ultimately be the Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins. He didn't miss one game; and he had a broken sternum.

Here's the hit, coming in the first two minutes of the Lightning playoff run, that many speculate is where Stamkos's sternum was crushed. The hit was determined to be clean, though I think in today's Shanahan world we'd have a video lesson on high elbows:

As if the display of grit of playing with a fractured chest plate in the 2010-2011 playoffs by Stamkos wasn't enough, in the second period of the game 7 against Bruins in the Eastern Conference Finale that same year Stammer took a puck to his face shield that fractured his nose. He later returned later donning a cage.

The sheer tolerance of pain and strength of will Stamkos demonstrated was truly a legendary secret in the annals of NHL playoff history. An entire playoff season with a broken sternum where several of their match ups went the full 7 games.

I will not lie, when I saw Stamkos writhing in pain in front of the crease I immediately knew it was a break. Stamkos is one of the toughest players in all of hockey.

To see him back on his skates in full drills with his team so quickly is not surprising to those who have followed his career beyond looking at highlight reel one timers and stat sheets, though it is still remarkable.


This post was written by a member of the Raw Charge community and does not necessarily represent or express the views or opinions of Raw Charge staff.

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