Some disappointing news overshadowed Saturday evening before the latest game against the Calgary Flames. The Tampa Bay Lightning announced that Steven Stamkos will miss approximately six to eight weeks due to having a core muscle injury. He will undergo surgery on Monday.
#TBLightning captain Steven Stamkos will undergo a surgical procedure on Monday, March 2 to repair a core muscle injury.— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) February 29, 2020
Recovery and rehabilitation are anticipated to last approximately six to eight weeks.https://t.co/UzfkHwdJhs
The timespan of six to eight weeks will sideline Stamkos for the remaining part of the regular season. If surgery and rehabilitation go well, the Lightning captain will able to return at the earliest at the middle of the first round of playoffs. But an eight-week recovery would allow him to return at the end of April which could be the second round.
Per head coach Jon Cooper it wasn’t an easy decision for them, but they did a lot of tests and talked with Steven Stamkos himself and Cooper believes that this is the right decision for the Lightning captain.
On losing Stamkos for 6-8 weeks, Cooper said a lot went into the decision for #Bolts captain to have surgery and this is what's best for him. "It’s unfortunate but the good thing when it gets done it’s done, and now we don’t have to worry about it again." #CGYvsTBL— Bryan Burns (@BBurnsNHL) March 1, 2020
It’s not the first time Steven Stamkos was forced to miss significant time during his career. During the 2013–14 season he suffered a broken tibia, shortly after he underwent successful surgery but couldn’t recover before the start of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. At the end of the 2015–16 regular season he was diagnosed with a blood clot after feeling a discomfort in his right arm. He underwent another surgery and missed basically the whole postseason, returning for Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Pittsburgh Penguins, in which the Lightning were eliminated from the playoffs. Later in 2016 Stamkos suffered a lateral meniscus tear in his right knee, which ruled him out for the most of the 2016-17 regular season.
This season Steven Stamkos has 66 (29+37) points and was on pace for another 90-point season. He probably wouldn’t have reached the 40-goal mark but the injury happened with him being one goal shy of reaching the 30-goal mark for the seventh time in his career.
As Geo noticed on twitter, after Stamkos’ injury the Lightning probably converted Mitchell Stephens’ recall to a regular, which means that the team has only three left until the end of the season.
With Stephens in the line up, looks like the team has converted his emergency recall to a normal one using the Lightning's first of four such recalls. Unless Verhaeghe is actually injured.— Raw Charge (@RawCharge) February 29, 2020
It’s impossible to replace such a player as Steven Stamkos, but the Lightning have enough depth to minimize his loss. The players like Ondrej Palat, Tyler Johnson and Yanni Gourde need to improve their game and provide enough secondary scoring, and as yesterday’s game illustrate it’s very possible. Another important thing is a functioning power play; the Lightning have been struggling on the power play since the start of 2020, but lately things started to work out for them. Bringing players like Blake Coleman and Barclay Goodrow also added the Lightning roster some depth and help on the penalty kill.
Lightning Org News
The Tampa Bay Lightning have broken their losing streak by defeating the Calgary Flames [Raw Charge]
The win was keyed by a long-awaited reawakening of the power play. The Lightning converted two of their four power play opportunities during that game and had a solid look on the remaining two. The penalty kill looked great too, the addition of Blake Coleman and Barclay Goodrow gave them more depth and another strong penalty kill unit to add to the Cedric Paquette/ Yanni Gourde combination.
The Syracuse Crunch won their second game this weekend; this time they beat the Rochester Americans. They’re currently sitting at the fourth place in the North Division.
A very rare night in the Tampa Bay Lightning organization when all three teams earned a victory on the same night. The Solar Bears defeated the defending Kelly Cup champion Newfoundland Growlers 5-1.
Jeff Vinik’s Lightning Foundation reached the $20 million mark recently, and every home game they’re awarding $50,000 donation as a part of the Lightning Community Heroes presentation.
The #TBLightning just reached the $20 million mark, awarding $50,000 to Noah's Ark of Central Florida (the 518th nonprofit) on behalf of Margaret McNutt (the 397th Community Hero). This program goes much further than the money, though. https://t.co/7uGH87qsmp— Diana C. Nearhos (@dianacnearhos) February 29, 2020
Other Hockey News
On the 10-year anniversary of Sidney Crosby’s golden goal at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Elliotte Friedman of the Sportsnet talked to Crosby himself about this memorable game.
Leon Draisaitl reached the 100-point mark as the first player this regular season.
Leon Draisaitl of the @EdmontonOilers is the 10th different player over the last 26 years (since 1993-94) to reach the 100-point mark in 65 games or fewer – a feat also achieved by Nikita Kucherov last season. #NHLStats pic.twitter.com/1HYlYtYLCv— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) March 1, 2020
David Pastrnak scored his 40th goal of the season and came closer to winning his first Maurice Richard Trophy.