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Bolt’s Past: Reviewing Stamkos’ 60 goal 2011-12 season

Stamkos set a franchise record and won a Rocket Richard in an otherwise awful season.

Tampa Bay Lightning v Winnipeg Jets Photo by Marianne Helm/Getty Images

The 2010-11 season was immensely successful for the Tampa Bay Lightning. It came out of nowhere when Guy Boucher’s 1-3-1 neutral zone trap and Steve Yzerman’s revamped roster took the league by storm.

Martin St. Louis finished the year with 99 points and 2nd in the NHL in points. Steven Stamkos finished 5th in points with 91 and 2nd in goals with 45. The season was highlighted by the addition of Dwayne Roloson in January to solidify the net and take the Lightning all the way to game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals. The Lightning ultimately fell in that game 1-0 to the Boston Bruins, who went on to win the Stanley Cup Championship.

2011-12 didn’t go quite so well for the Lightning. Some departures and a degraded roster, as well as regression for Roloson, led to the Lightning finishing third in the Southeast Division and 21st in the NHL. That didn’t mean some players didn’t have good years though as Stamkos and St. Louis continued to produce points even when the Lightning struggled to keep goals out of their own net.

Stamkos would finish the year with 60 goals to win the Rocket Richard trophy becoming the 10th player since the 1992-93 season to score 60 goals in a season. He was also the first since Alex Ovechkin scored 65 in 2007-08. No player has hit the 60 goal plateau since Stamkos’ 2011-12 season. Stamkos also finished the season with 97 points good for 2nd in the NHL behind Evgeni Malkin’s 109 points.

The Stats

Even Strength Goals: 48

Power Play Goals: 12

Game Winning Goals: 12

Overtime Goals: 5

Stamkos has always been known for his incredible prowess on the power play with his precise one-timers. So it may surprise you to see that he only scored 20% of his goals on the power play. Over his career, he has scored 42.5% of his goals on the power play. His 12 power play goals are only the 5th most in his nine year career. Three of those nine seasons, he played less than 50 games, with two being shortened to 37 and 17 games by injuries and the other to 48 due to the 2012-13 lockout. The other season where he scored less goals on the power play was his rookie season of 2008-09.

Stamkos’ 12 game-winning goals also led the NHL and were one-third of the game-winning goals for the Lightning for the season. Stamko’s five overtime goals set a new record for overtime goals in a season, a record that has since been tied twice by Jonathan Toews in 2015-16 and Alex Galchenyuk in 2016-17.

Even Strength Assists: 24

Power Play Assists: 13

Stamkos’s 24 even strength assists are the third most in his career. Ironically enough, the two seasons where he had more were 2009-10 and 2010-11. His 13 power play assists were also the third most in his career with 2009-10 and 2010-11 being the two seasons beating it out for the most.

Time on Ice: 22:01

Power Play Time on Ice: 3:48

Short Handed Time on Ice: 0:33

22:01 tied for his most time on ice per game in a season with 2012-13 being the other season. Throughout his career he’s only averaged 19:42 TOI. Since Jon Cooper took over behind the bench, Stamkos’ TOI has been decreasing from 22:01 in 2011-12 and 2012-13 to 20:15 in 2013-14 and followed up with 19:22, 19:44, and 17:52. His power play and short handed TOI numbers haven’t changed much over his career though with just his even strength time on ice decreasing during Cooper’s tenure.

Opposition Breakdown

  • Eastern Conference Teams: 29-29-6 record, 64 GP, 44 goals, 31 assists, 75 points
  • Western Conference Teams: 9-7-2 record, 18 GP, 16 goals, 6 assists, 22 points

2011-12 was the season that the Atlanta Thrashers became the Winnipeg Jets. Without enough time to re-shuffle divisions and conferences, the Jets maintained their membership in the Southeast Division in the Eastern Conference. At the time, teams were divided into three divisions of five teams in both conferences. Teams played every team in their own division six times each and in the other two divisions in the conference four times each. For the opposite conference, they would play every team once with two teams getting an extra game.

With the limited number of games, let’s focus in on the Western Conference and then dive deeper on the Eastern Conference by division next.

Stamkos did very well against the Western Conference scoring almost a goal per game including a hat trick against the Chicago Blackhawks and three other two-goal games. The Colorado Avalanche, Dallas Stars, Edmonton Oilers, and St. Louis Blues were the only teams in the Western Conference he failed to score against. Ironically, all four teams also kept him off the scoresheet altogether. All six of his assists came in games that he also scored a goal.

An interesting point here is that the San Jose Sharks kept Stamkos off the scoresheet in their December meeting in San Jose. When the Sharks returned to Tampa in February, Stamkos put up two goals and two assists for his only four-point game against the Western Conference. Stamkos ended up with seven of his 18 games against the Western Conference being multi-point games.

  • Southeast Division: 13-7-4 record, 24 GP, 20 goals, 14 assists, 34 points

With six games each against the Florida Panthers, Washington Capitals, and Carolina Hurricanes, the opposing teams couldn’t figure out how to stop him. Through the first six games of the season against the Southeast Division, Stamkos only managed one goal and three assists. Over the last 18 games, he scored 19 goals and 11 assists.

He had pretty equal success across the division has Winnipeg allowed four goals, Washington and Carolina allowed five goals each and Florida allowed six goals. Stamkos had four three point games, one against each team in the Division. Against Carolina, he put up a hat trick at home and had a two-goal, one-assist night against Florida and Washington, and a one-goal, two-assist night at Winnipeg.

Stamkos was kept off the scoresheet in only four games against the Southeast Division; two against Carolina and one each against Florida and Washington. The Southeast Division was on the weak side in 2011-12 as only Florida and Washington made the playoffs finishing 14th and 15th in the NHL respectively. The Lightning finished third in the division and were 20th overall in the NHL while Winnipeg was 22nd and Carolina was 23rd in the NHL.

  • Northeast Division: 7-12-1 record, 20 GP, 13 goals, 5 assists, 18 points

Stamkos really struggled against the Northeast Division. And while “struggling” he still scored a lot. The Ottawa Senators, Buffalo Sabres, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Montreal Canadiens each allowed two goals to Stamkos over four games each. The Boston Bruins though brought out the best in Stamkos. Perhaps he was motivated due to the game seven loss the previous season in the Eastern Conference Finals. He scored five goals against the hated Bruins and had two two-goal games.

Stamkos only managed four multi-point games against the Northeast Division and was held pointless in six games. Ironically, the team Stamkos did best against was the best in the division in the Boston Bruins. The Bruins finished 2nd overall in the Eastern Conference and 7th overall in the NHL. Ottawa just made the playoffs and was 16th overall in the NHL. Toronto and Montreal were both pretty bad coming in at 26th and 28th overall in the NHL.

  • Atlantic Division: 9-10-1 record, 20 GP, 11 goals, 12 assists, 23 points

The Atlantic Division was by far the best division in the NHL putting four teams into the top 10 in the NHL. They also did the best at limiting Stamkos’ goal scoring. He was still able to do well on the assists side of the scoresheet though putting up assists at just more than his Southeast Division assist rate.

Four of his goals came from the New York Islanders, by far the worst team in the division finishing 27th overall in the NHL. The Philadelphia Flyers allowed three goals. The New Jersey Devils and New York Rangers only allowed two goals a piece to Stamkos. The Pittsburgh Penguins were the lone Eastern Conference team to keep Stamkos from scoring a goal.

Against the Atlantic Division, Stamkos had three two-goal games coming against the Flyers, Islanders, and Devils. He had two three-point games and six multi-point games overall against the Atlantic Division.

  • Playoff Teams: 19-22-5 record, 46 GP, 36 goals, 21 assists, 47 points, minus-1 plus-minus rating
  • Non-Playoff Teams: 19-14-3 record, 36 GP, 24 goals, 16 assists, 40 points, plus-8 plus-minus rating

Stamkos scored more goals per game against Playoff Teams than Non-Playoff Teams (0.78 vs. 0.66). His assist rates between Playoff and Non-Playoff teams were very close. The difference in the sample sizes actually meant that his points per game were a little worse against Playoff Teams than against Non-Playoff Teams.

The Final Goal

The most impressive part of the season happened in the very last game of the year. The Lightning were finishing the season on a three-game away trip that started with a loss at Montreal and an overtime loss at Toronto. The Lightning traveled out west to the Winnipeg Jets nee’ Atlanta Thrashers to finish the season.

Stamkos had entered the trip with 58 goals for the season and picked one up in the loss to the Maple Leafs. He went into Winnipeg looking for that 60th goal, to mark an amazing milestone to reach.

A little over three minutes into the third period, still looking for his 60th goal, Stamkos had the puck on the left wing wall in the defensive zone. With a defender coming, he chipped the puck out to Martin St. Louis. St. Louis passed the puck across the zone to defenseman Brian Lee moving up on the play.

The puck went past Lee and into the offensive zone but he was able to recover it. Lee gathered in the puck and turned his back on the defender to protect it. St. Louis charged in past Lee and Lee spun around to pass the puck through the right wing circle to St. Louis at the bottom of the circle.

Uncovered, St. Louis found a seam through the back-checking Jets to find Stamkos coming into the zone late in the slot. Stamkos held the puck for a split second and then let loose with a quick wrist shot that beat the goalie glove side for his 60th goal. Ryan Malone jumped on the puck and the celebration ensued. Showing the class of the Winnipeg fan base, they gave Stamkos a standing ovation for his achievement.

All 60 Goals

To re-live every goal of Steven Stamkos’ historic season, check out the video below showing every single goal.