After falling a game short of the Stanley Cup finals in 2011, the Tampa Bay Lightning were officially eliminated from the playoffs this weekend. As you probably know, not much has gone well. Their defense fell apart – literally and figuratively. Vincent Lecavalier dealt with another extended injury and Dwayne Roloson showed his age worse than Kathleen Turner this season.
Aside from the clockwork-like productivity of Martin St. Louis, Steven Stamkos has been far and away the bright spot for the Lightning in 2011-12. He already set a new franchise mark for goals in one season and now he broke an NHL record, as Stamkos collected his fifth OT tally of the season on Saturday.
“When you think of how long the NHL has been around, to have a record to call my own, at least for now, is amazing,” Stamkos said. “Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought about scoring this many goals in a season and setting a record for the most overtime goals. Obviously I’d have loved to do this in a season where we were competing for a Stanley Cup.”
It’s still quite the interesting accomplishment – and evidence that other NHL teams might want to avoid playing against the Lightning in 4-on-4 situations in the future.
Check it out below:
With his special season in mind, I have to ask: is Stamkos the least-discussed superstar in the NHL right now? You just don’t hear his name often in “best in the world” discussions, and aside from his team’s sorry state and non-traditional market, I can see any clear reason why.
(It’s probably because of those two things.)
You probably know the drill: injury updates are murky in the NHL basically from the moment a puck drops.
We’ll learn more once the 2015-16 season begins, but at the moment, Saturday might have served as a costly night for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn went down with injuries stemming from a 3-2 pre-season win against the Florida Panthers.
“Guys were dropping like flies,” Steven Stamkos told the Tamba Bay Times.
These could be minor situations – just about any ailment will sideline a key asset this time of year – yet one cannot help but wonder if the Lightning might limp into this campaign.
Nikita Kucherov is dealing with his own issues, so that means at least minor issues for one half of the Bolts’ top six forwards.
It’s believed that more will be known about these banged-up Bolts sometime on Sunday.
With knee issues still limiting him, Raffi Torres isn’t as mobile as he once was. Apparently he still moves well enough to leave the usual path of destruction.
It’s the pre-season, so it’s unclear if we’ll get a good look at the check, but Torres received a match penalty for his hit on Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.
Most accounts were pretty critical of the San Jose Sharks’ chief troublemaker:
It’s too early to tell if Silfverberg is injured. If he is, that’s a significant loss for the Ducks, as he really showed signs of fulfilling his promise (especially during the 2015 playoffs).
As far as Torres goes, he’s hoping to play in the Sharks’ season-opener. Wherever he ends up, he’ll certainly make plenty of enemies on the ice.
Whether it was because of that hit or just the general distaste shared by those sides, it sounds like tonight’s Sharks – Ducks exhibition is getting ugly, in general:
This post will be updated if video of the hit becomes available, and also if we get a better idea of Silfverberg’s condition.
Update: Bullet dodged?