Heading into Monday’s matinee against the Boston Bruins, the Tampa Bay Lightning knew winning would be a challenge. One the team looked to be handling until a tragic incident left not only the game, but also the 2013-2014 season, possibly in jeopardy.
With about 7 minutes remaining alternate captain and one of the NHL‘s elite players, Steven Stamkos, appeared to lose an edge while backchecking the Bruins Dougie Hamilton. A seemingly innocent play, yet things went terribly wrong as Stammer’s ankle/leg appeared to bend backward when he went sliding into the netpost. He tried to stand but couldn’t and had to be stretchered off the TD Garden ice.
From all reports, Stamkos has been taken to a Boston area hospital for X-Rays. No other information is available at this time, but stay tuned for any updates that become available.
If the injury is as serious as many fear, Lightning fans could look back on this Veteran’s Day as one in which their season ends. At the time this horrible incident occurred, Stamkos was tied for the league lead in points (23) and goals (14). He also was tied with captain Martin St. Louis, posting a wonderful plus-11 rating.
Another thing to mention is that, depending on severity, Stamkos’ dream of representing Team Canada at the 2014 Olympic games in Sochi, Russia might also be over. Left off the 2010 gold medal-winning team, you have to think that possibility would be pretty devastating for the young 23 year old.
Can the Lightning find a way to persevere in light of what happened, or will they fall apart? While unknown, I can say NHL fans around the world wish nothing but the best for Stamkos.
*UPDATE (4:50pm EST): The Lightning confirm Stamkos suffered a broken tibia and is out indefinitely.