The Tampa Bay Lightning have been struggling to win games lately, but Steven Stamkos is having little trouble producing.
This can easily be seen in Stamkos’ now nine-game point streak dating back to Feb. 14 and it recently earned him two NHL honors. To top that off, I’ve selected him as the Lightning’s player of this past week.
He began things by recording a goal and two assists as Tampa Bay nearly erased an early 3-0 deficit, but still lost 5-3 to the Pittsburgh Penguins Sunday night. That tied him with Sidney Crosby for the league’s point leadership.
With his teammates pretty much going cold, Stamkos provided a sold-out crowd in Tampa one reason for celebration, scoring just over a minute into what eventually was a 2-1 loss Tuesday night against Ryan Miller‘s Buffalo Sabres. I say this because Miller literally stood on his head during this game.
Things were just plain embarrassing Thursday night versus the New York Rangers, but Stamkos extended his point streak by assisting on Martin St. Louis‘ first period goal. He showed some leadership off the ice as well, saying in his post-game comments that the Lightning had talked enough and now needed to take some action.
His teammates must have heard him because, in today’s matinee with the Boston Bruins, they came out with an edge. They also fired more shots and had a 2-0 lead after one period of play with Stamkos finding the back of the net first. Unfortunately, things went downhill from there and the Lightning lost 3-2.
As we flip to a new week, beginning with Monday night’s nationally televised game in Pittsburgh, let’s hope the Lightning can get contributions from other players. If that happens, they may be able to begin a winning streak. At the least, it will make it tough for me to choose which player I should honor next week.