Steven Stamkos thriving in several position with Lightning

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Steven Stamkos, at 32 and wrapping up his 14th season, is now not one of many NHL’s most prolific scorers and even the second- or third-best participant on his personal staff.

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Steven Stamkos, at 32 and wrapping up his 14th season, is now not one of many NHL’s most prolific scorers and even the second- or third-best participant on his personal staff.

The six-time All-Star and two-time “Rocket” Richard Trophy winner because the league’s main objective scorer is the undisputed chief of the Tampa Bay Lightning, although, and one of many causes the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions are 4 wins away from the primary three-peat in 40 years.

Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final is Wednesday evening, with the Lightning dealing with the Colorado Avalanche after defeating the Toronto Maple Leafs, Florida Panthers and New York Rangers to achieve hockey’s largest stage for the fourth time since 2015.

Stamkos has scored a team-leading 9 objectives in 17 video games this postseason, together with a pair in Tampa Bay’s 2-1 series-clinching victory over the Rangers within the Eastern Conference closing.

“It’s not individuals. It’s great to score a couple goals in a huge game. … But if I didn’t score and we won I would have been just as happy,” the No. 1 total choose from the 2008 NHL draft stated.

“That’s the way the guys are on our team. Each guy plays a part. And (the media) can discuss if it’s a big part or if it’s a little part,” the Lightning captain added. “We know in the room that everyone plays a huge part in our group success. That’s why we have been so successful because the guys in that room are truly like that.”

Nikita Kucherov, Victor Hedman, Andrei Vasilevskiy, Brayden Point, Ondrej Palat, Alex Killorn and Pat Maroon have all performed key roles in Tampa Bay successful back-to-back titles and turning into the primary staff to make three straight appearances within the Stanley Cup Final because the Edmonton Oilers from 1983-85.

Stamkos has carried his share of the load, too, though he missed practically the entire staff’s championship run two years in the past due to an damage. There have been loads of instances within the subsequent two seasons that his contributions have been overshadowed by the play of a few of the staff’s youthful stars.

Through all of it, Stamkos retains enjoying — and producing. He’s the Lightning’s profession objectives chief with 481 and earlier this season moved forward of Hall of Famer Martin St. Louis to turn out to be the franchise’s profession factors chief with 972 in 14 seasons.

The Lightning are attempting to turn out to be the primary staff to three-peat because the New York Islanders gained 4 straight titles from 1980-83.

“Watching Stammer’s growth — going from the 60-goal scorer and the young guy to the leader, the captain and the guy that people are rallying around — he’s got a lot of weight on the shoulders,” coach Jon Cooper stated.

“He’s got to score, he’s got to lead, he’s got to be the face of the franchise,” Cooper added. “He’s got to do all these things.”

Missing all however one sport of Tampa Bay’s 2020 championship run was one of many hardest stretches of Stamkos’ profession. He appeared in only one sport, logging 2:42 of ice time — but nonetheless scored a objective — in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final towards Dallas.

The captain’s subsequent look got here after the staff’s title-clinching win in Game 6, with Stamkos slipping into his uniform and returning to the ice for the trophy presentation and celebration.

Scoring twice to get rid of the Rangers — with the winner delivered a mere 21 seconds after New York tied the sport with a power-play objective scored with Stamkos within the penalty field for holding — thrust him into the highlight.

Cooper, who has the Lightning within the Cup Final for the fourth time, couldn’t be happier for him.

“Our first Cup run, he misses basically the whole thing. So, at some point you want the light to shine on him. And it has in so many different ways,” Cooper stated.

“But in an elimination game, to not only score the first goal, but to answer back 21 seconds after they scored, you’re so proud,” Cooper added. “He’ll be the first one to push the accolades to everybody else, but he had a hell of a series.”

That’s certainly what Stamkos tried to do.

“There was a quiet confidence with this group like there usually is in tight moments like that,” the captain stated.

“Each guy is just a part of the process. And that’s what makes this team so special and tight and unique,” Stamkos added. “We don’t care how it gets done. You just need to get it done.”


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Fred Goodall, The Associated Press

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