Stamkos Injury Bad for Bolts and Team Canada
Steven Stamkos was tied for the lead in goals (14) and points (23) heading in to tonights game with Boston.
A first period collision with the goal post may have ended the superstars season however.
Stamkos lost his footing after jostling for position with Boston’s Dougie Hamilton in the Lighting zone, crashing in to Anders Lindback’s near post.
The Ontario natives right leg met the iron work with full force, resulting in one of the NHL’s most stomach churning injuries for some time.
(Warning – this one is not for the squeamish)
The slow motion replay at 1:42 probably gives you the most cringe inducing view of events.
X-rays revealed a broken tibia, which will require surgery and several months on the sidelines. The superstars reaction said much and more; from his attempts to get back to his feet to the looks of agony on his face before he was stretchered off.
It’s obviously bad news for the Bolts – who have surprised many so far this season, accumulating a 12-4-0 record to lead the Eastern Conference after the first month of the new campaign.
Stamkos has twice as many goals as Tampa’s next highest scorer, line mate Martin St. Louis, and was logging just over 20 minutes per night for Jon Cooper’s side. Not to mention he is also their best player.
It’s the first major injury of Stamkos career, and the first occasion Tampa Bay has had to play without either him or St. Louis for an extended period of time since the former Sarnia Sting star made his debut in 2008.
Whilst there is no doubt over St. Louis’ ability; losing such an integral part of a team, where scoring depth could be considered an issue, is a massive blow and could derail Tampa’s entire season.
The injury to Stamkos is also likely to come as a major blow to Team Canada; with the forward a lock for a place on the defending champions roster in Sochi.
Despite Canada’s obvious depth of talent, Stamkos is still a very special player and one Canada would have looked to to play an integral role in Russia come February.
One ‘plus point’ in all this might be the fact Martin St. Louis also suffered a broken league in 2002. St. Louis missed 26 games, but his ‘experience’ will hopefully transfer in to some sage like wisdom to be shared with the Rocket Richard winner. If anyone knows how to bounce back from such an injury and perform at an elite level again, it’s St. Louis.
Tampa will be praying Stamkos can do the same.