Quick Strikes: Tampa Bay Lightning’s Steven Stamkos is finding his new normal

In a Sportsnet interview, Stamkos spoke about changes to his body that mean he’ll never be “100 per cent” again.

The Bolts

NHL players have a tough job in a dangerous game, but few have had a tougher past few years than Tampa Bay Lightning’s Steven Stamkos. In a Sportsnet article entitled, ‘I don’t think I will feel 100 per cent ever again,’ Stamkos opens up about the lasting impact of his injuries on his body. [Sportsnet]

On the lighter side, Joe wrote about some kudos that have come Stamkos's way. Lightning’s Stamkos, Kucherov earn league-wide notice: "Lightning captain Steven Stamkos and wing Nikita Kucherov might be the most dynamic duo in the league right now. And people are taking notice, with Stamkos named the NHL's first star of the month and Kucherov the second star." More about this from Justin later. [Tampa Bay Times]

Speaking of Stamkos, Greg Wyshynski caught up with him and asked him about...John Tavares. "I don't know where that rumor started, or where it came from. Obviously the guys have seen that 'John Tavares to Tampa' rumor," Stamkos, currently the NHL's leading scorer with 24 points, told ESPN on Wednesday. [ESPN]

(Stamkos, it was Elliotte Friedman.)

Lightning’s Style Taking on the League. "The Lightning might be onto something big with all their small players. Of their top 14 players, only three are taller than six feet and their offensive talents have helped the team to a first-place tie in the overall standings, alongside the St. Louis Blues." [THW]

Jackets focused on power plays as road trip begins in Florida. "Law of averages, you get that many good players on a unit together, good things are going to happen. It's just a feeling out process. It's just guys that want to do so well, and have success so badly, that it almost works the opposite way. We've just got to relax, know who we are and get into it, and I guarantee the success will start happening before long." [NHL.com]

Breaking down NHL’s impressive and least-anticipated hot starts. "While the Lightning may be a lucky team (103.32 PDO) that’s been overachieving so far, this is still a talented roster that should have sustainable success moving forward. They may not continue winning at such an overwhelming pace all season, but they should remain contenders if their best players can stay healthy." [Fanragsports]

The Prospects

Seldo returned to us with his latest bit of prospect news. Tampa Bay Lightning prospect report: Samuel Walker is a champion! Brett Howden also knocked out six points for the Moose Jaw Warriors. [Raw Charge]

And Trace is back too with her Adirondack Thunder report. "The Adirondack Thunder faced their first real schedule challenge of the 2017-18 season: a grueling 4 games in 6 days stretch that included a 3-in-3 weekend. Although the offense was there, the defense is learning you can’t just lean on your goaltender alone to do the job. As a result, the Thunder only took 1 out of the 4 games, and now face an extended road trip that won’t see them back on home ice until Thanksgiving weekend." [Raw Charge]

Crunch begin difficult road stretch with a win over Rochester. "Adam Erne extended his scoring streak to three games (4a) with assists in both games in Week 4. The third-year-pro leads the Crunch with five assists in nine games. He is the third player on the Crunch with at least a three-game scoring streak; Mitchell Stephens and Cory Conacher both have four-game scoring streaks this season." [NHL.com]

The Game

We're all rooting for you, Brian! Brian Boyle plays first game since cancer diagnosis. "It’s been a long road for (Boyle)," said coach John Hynes, who finalized the decision to insert Boyle into the lineup after a one-on-one conversation with him after Tuesday’s practice in Vancouver. "I know he’s real excited to play, and we’re really excited as an organization to have him back." [Tampa Bay Times]

Analyze This: Canadiens might have finally found their No. 1 centre -- by our old friend and my former colleague at SBNation, Marc Dumont. "Fortunately for the Canadiens, Drouin’s transition to centre has been far from disappointing. He has two goals and seven assists in his first 12 games." [Montreal Gazette]