Broom Heading Toward Steven Stamkos and the Lightning
The Toronto Maple Leafs started the season looking like a team who could have been a threat come playoff time with stars like forward Phil Kessel, captain and defenseman Dion Phaneuf and goaltender James Reimer.
After battling injuries and a performance slip from some of their players the Leafs ended up in a similar situation as the Bolts.
Toronto is currently sitting near the bottom of the Eastern Conference only three points ahead of last place, while the Montreal Canadiens smoked the previously up-charging Lightning last night 5-2.
Stamkos batted a zero on the scoreboard with not even an assist. This put an end to Stamkos six-game point streak. He had eight goals and 11 points during this streak including a couple game-winning goals, but against Montreal the Lightning’s hero was absent.
With only two games left time is ticking for Stamkos to reach the 60-goal mark and he doesn’t have the best luck against the Maple Leafs. In three games Stamkos only has one goal and one assist against the Leafs but he also has some luck on his side.
Leafs goaltender James Reimer who Stamkos has not scored on this year is out and Jonas Gustavsson is day-to-day with an injury as well. So the Leafs might be forced to throw an inexperienced goaltender in like Ben Scrivens who has only played 10 games this season and none against a super-star like Steven Stamkos.
As much as Stamkos would like to be one of two players in the last 10 years to score 60 goals in one season he could be satisfied with one more point to mark a new career-high 96 points.
What could make it even sweeter is tonight Stamkos will be hoping to achieve his goals where he grew up playing the game that made him what he is today, a superstar for the Tampa Bay Lightning. The last thing Stamkos would want is to be embarrassed and swept by his hometown team.