After struggling throughout March and the beginning of April, the Tampa Bay Lightning bounced back and finished the regular season with seven wins in the last ten games. Steven Stamkos led the Lightning with 33 (12+21) points in 16 games over that span, so no surprise that the NHL named him the first star of the month.
It was truly a record-breaking month for the Lightning’s captain. His 33 points in 16 games are the Lightning’s franchise record for the most points in a single month and the best result in the NHL since Mario Lemieux scored 34 points in 14 games in 1995. Steven Stamkos also recorded a nine-game multi-point streak, which is another franchise record. Over the last month, Stamkos surpassed Martin St. Louis for the most points in franchise history (972 points) and finally reached a 100-point mark in his 14th season in the NHL. He has also tied with Vincent Lecavalier for the second-most assists in the Lightning’s history (491 assists).
Stamkos finished sixth in the league with 106 points in 81 games this season, his 16 power play goals are the third-best result amongst the NHL players (tied with six other players) and his 11 game-winning goals are the best record in the league (tied with three players).
For Stamkos himself this “1st Star of the Month” is the first award since October 2017 and fourth in his career (April 2022, October 2017, February 2013, October 2010). It’s also the first time when the Lightning’s player has been named a first star of the month since Nikita Kucherov in December 2018.
The Lightning recalled forward Riley Nash from the Syracuse Crunch for the upcoming playoffs. Nash appeared in 10 games with the Bolts this season, he also scored 18 (10+8) points in 17 games with Syracuse in the AHL.
The Syracuse Crunch were defeated by the Laval Rocket in the final game of the regular season.
The both teams will meet again in the North Division Semifinals in one week, here’s a full schedule:
The preview of the upcoming first-round series between Tampa Bay and Toronto by the Athletic. In short: the Leafs are the favourites [The Athletic, paid content]
No, that’s not a typo. According to The Model, the defending Stanley Cup champions are substantial underdogs in this series – something not even their size advantage fixes. If the playoffs really are a different beast and certain teams just know how to win, then this kind of probability is just downright egregious… right?
The Detroit Red Wings announced they will not renew the contracts of head coach Jeff Blashill and assistants Doug Houda and Jeff Salajko.