The Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos was preparing for his first bubble hockey game on Monday. He may have only driven two minutes and 47 seconds – but he made a huge impression when he scored a goal on his only shot.
With a 5-2 in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final, the Lightning are now two wins away from the franchise’s first championship since 2004.
But will he get up again? This is unknown as he said after the game he was working on an issue and added “it was too early” to say if he could play in game 4 on Friday or the rest of the series.
Stamkos scored 66 points (29 goals, 37 assists) in 57 games in the 2019-20 season. In 71 playoff games of his career, he has now collected 24 goals and 30 assists – including 18 postseason points when the Lightning last reached the Stanley Cup final in 2015.
When he plays, Stamkos not only brings a much-needed offensive boost to the line-up, but also the struggling power game of lightning, which has fallen from 23.1 percent efficiency in the regular season to 19.4 percent in the postseason.
The last time he hit the ice before playing in Game 3 was on February 25, when he scored an assist and extended his streak to 15 games (12 goals, 10 assists). On March 2, Stamkos had surgery to repair a core muscle injury and was expected to be six to eight weeks away. While he hadn’t played in the round robin or the first three rounds of the playoffs, he was in the bubble and on the ice when the team received the Prince of Wales Trophy as champions of the 2020 Eastern Conference.
So, is he going to play another game? Sporting News is tracking the captain’s participation in the final.
Stanley Cup Final Game 1
Did he go skate that morning? Yes.Has he participated in any warm-up exercises? No.Did he play in the game? No.
Stanley Cup Final Game 2
Did he skate in the morning? Yes.What did Jon Cooper say about pre-game availability when asked about Stamkos? “So if you’ve been following anything, my press conference, I’m really not going to reveal anything about our lineups. So you have to tune in tonight to find out, and it’s probably frustrating to a lot of people, especially if you have social media, but we will Have our line-up tonight and there will be 20 people in the line-up [that] gives us the best chance of winning. “Has he participated in any warm-up exercises? No.Did he play in the game? No.
Stanley Cup Final Game 3
Did he skate in the morning? Indefinite, but probably no. Based on the video provided by the NHL, he was not in any of the recordings.What did Jon Cooper say about pre-game availability when asked about Stamkos? “He’s getting closer … he’s getting closer.” Has he participated in any warm-up exercises? Yes.Did he play in the game? Yes, and he scored a goal.
MORE: Stamkos returns and scores a goal in Stanley Cup Final Game 3
Stanley Cup Final Game 4
Will he play? No. Cooper said during Thursday’s availability that he wouldn’t know or have an update until Friday morning. Well, on Friday morning when asked if he was going to play in Game 4, Cooper said, “Not tonight, he’s not going to play. But we haven’t ruled him out for the series.”