February wasn’t very kind to the Tampa Bay Lightning as a whole, but it certainly loved Steven Stamkos.
Coming off a week that saw him honored as the NHL‘s Second Star, Stamkos was named February’s first star today. The honor is well deserved, given the fact he scored 10 of his 14 goals during that month, vaulting him from third to first in goal scoring. There’s also the little fact he’s got points in 11 of 14 games, and is currently on an eight-game point streak, which propelled him to tops in the league points-wise.
The question now becomes, “where was Stamkos in January?”
To be fair, he was still producing, though not in the way many expected. Then again, it’s not like the Lightning really needed him at that point, with a record of 6-1 and averaging nearly six goals per game. However, once the calendar turned, they needed him more than ever, something evidenced by their 3-9-1 record and suddenly slumping offense.
Of course, he didn’t disappoint, but that’s something we come to expect these days.
Looking toward March, the Lightning need to put together some wins, and will definitely need Stamkos’ help to do so. He said before this 48-game season began that he wanted to erase the bitter taste left from just missing last postseason. Now’s his big chance to come through in the clutch, something Tampa Bay fans know he’s capable of doing.
Let’s also hope he receives some help from teammates like Martin St. Louis, Vincent Lecavalier and Teddy Purcell to name a few because, let’s face it, even the world’s best player can’t always will their team to victory.