On the off day between Games 1 and 2, most of the talk around the Tampa Bay Lightning involved the health status of Bolts captain Steven Stamkos. Stammer has missed the entire playoffs but has been skating consistently for over a week now. Everyone seems to think his return is going to be imminent, particularly the head coach of the Dallas Stars, Rick Bowness.
Stars coach Rick Bowness expects to See Stamkos in the Stanley Cup Final. "We're expecting Steven to play at some point. Listen, he's a great player. He changes the whole look on the power play. So that's a big factor."— Stephen Whyno (@SWhyno) September 20, 2020
Jon Cooper was less optimistic, but notes that Stamkos is getting closer to a return. I can’t imagine how it’s felt to have to sit out all this time.
Cooper said Stamkos is "inching his way closer" to a return and it's "killing him" to miss these playoffs so far. Added that team is "hopeful that he'll be able to come back in this series" but no guarantee he can. #Bolts #TBLvsDAL— Bryan Burns (@BBurnsNHL) September 20, 2020
Blake Coleman is definitely hoping for his captain’s return.
At today's media availability, Blake Coleman said Steven Stamkos' impact "would be huge" if he can come back in SCF: "An 80% Stammer is better than most players in this league still. Not sure if we'll see him on not, but if we do, it's going to be a great boost to our team."— Bryan Burns (@BBurnsNHL) September 20, 2020
Stanley Cup Final Tonight
Dallas Stars “@” Tampa Bay Lightning — DAL leads 1-0
8pm ET — NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS
Justin published a great piece on Sunday on how the Tampa Bay Lightning assembled their team. It was really interesting to see the paths everyone took to join this team and (finally) make the Finals again. [Raw Charge]
“So, it’s impossible to give one man full credit for the 2019-20 Tampa Bay Lightning. Many will refer to it as “Steve Yzerman’s Team” and while he deserves recognition for putting the bulk of the roster, this team doesn’t make it this far without the work of Julien BriseBois, Jay Feaster, and yes, even Brian Lawton.”
Here are the quotes from Sunday’s practice. [NHL dot com]
“Lightning forward Blake Coleman, who provided the primary assist on Tampa Bay’s lone goal in Game 1, said his team came out “tentative” and “sluggish” which fed into their “sloppy” play. He expects the Lightning to play with more of the urgency it displayed in the third period when it outshot the Stars 22-2 and had Dallas goalie Anton Khudobin under constant pressure for the entire 20 minute session.”
Two University of Minnesota players are prospects of the Bolts and the Stars. Sammy Walker in the blue, and Ben Brickman in green. The two talk about how the Finals and their development.
Long-time teammates at Edina and with the #Gophers, Sammy Walker (@TBLightning) and Ben Brinkman (@DallasStars) now find themselves at odds as their NHL teams face off for the #StanleyCup.— Minnesota Men’s Hockey (@GopherHockey) September 20, 2020
From @TheRinkLive: https://t.co/AVaM6QSqKy pic.twitter.com/zGoCP2kxGP