Tampa head coach Jon Cooper told the media on Sunday that forward Steven Stamkos will not play again in the Cup Final.
“Hopefully the next time we see him on the ice is for a trophy presentation,” Cooper said, ending any speculation that the Bolts captain would suit up again this postseason.
Stamkos will be left with just one lonely goal to his name in these playoffs — which he scored in a grand total of 2:47 of ice time.
Stamkos, 30, last played a full game of hockey in February, when he suffered a lower-body injury. The team has been cagey about his status since then, with several false starts on his availability. But the injury didn’t mean Stamkos was uninvolved. The Bolts surprised everyone by bringing Stamkos out onto the ice when they won the Prince of Wales trophy after walloping the Islanders in the Conference Final.
And then, in an even bigger surprise, Stamkos played in Game 3 against Dallas. Most of his shifts were light work, just getting reps underneath him, but then he had this opportunity.
Stamkos’ goal came on his only shot of the game, his only shot of the playoffs.
That’s a shooting percentage of 100 percent. Stamkos’s all-situation goals-per-60 will sit 21.6, which is the highest ever, wherein “ever” is described as the last five postseasons, which is all I could be bothered to look up right now.
For comparison, in the 2010 playoffs, Caps forward Alex Semin scored 0 goals in 135 minutes for a goals/60 of 0.00000 (repeating).
With Stamkos out for Game Six, the Tampa Bay Lightning will have to make do with just the 2019 Vezina winner, the 2019 Ted Lindsay winner, and the 2018 Norris winner.
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