One of the NHL‘s premier goal scorers, people expect Steven Stamkos to constantly produce. But that isn’t the case, as evidenced by his recent inability to find the back of the net.
Stamkos began this condensed 48 game season red-hot, with 17 goals in 22 games early on for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Since then he’s struggled, notching just eight in 16 contests. Because of that, Alexander Ovechkin has caught him in the Rocket Richard trophy race.
However, these scoring troubles haven’t prevented Stamkos from putting up points on a regular basis. To prove this, his 49 points rank second in the league, only six behind the injured Sidney Crosby.
While unknown, it’s possible Stamkos’ recent dropoff stems from the Lightning’s changes in the last month. Seeing one head coach get fired is difficult enough. Now try going through that, plus learning a whole new system in one months time, and let’s see how well you fare.
Injuries could be playing a role as well, though Stamkos has not missed any games thus far. Actually, that wouldn’t really surprise me, considering guys play through injury more often than is known.
Another possibility would be the fact opponents have figured out a way to stop him. Maybe it’s by double-covering, or just making good plays defensively. At the least, other teams are doing something right.
With that being said, Stamkos must try and finish strong. Even with the Lightning’s playoff hopes all but gone, he still has plenty to play for.