The blockbuster Martin St. Louis trade for Ryan Callahan.
The return from a broken leg.
And Stamkos is hoping the craziness, not to mention the adversity, is in the past.
“We struggled a little bit out of the gate,” he said of his team’s performance after the Olympics, “but I think we’ve found our groove now. It’s been fun. This group of guys that we have is something that I think can be special this year. We’re believing in each other and everyone is stepping up.”
Indeed, Tampa Bay has won three straight after its post-break slump, lifting itself out of that wild-card zone that’s going to come with a daunting first-round matchup against either Boston or Pittsburgh. If the playoffs started today, the Lightning would meet the Canadiens.
As you can see below, a win over the Leafs would go a long way toward staying out of the wild-card zone for the rest of the season. A regulation loss, however, and it’s right back in it.
Related: Playoff bubble watch — Leafs edition