Make no mistake about it that Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos is one of the brightest stars in the National Hockey League. Stamkos is a three-time NHL All-Star and at the age of 25, the future looks bright for this native of Markham, Ontario. Stamkos is a tremendous goal scorer as he already has two seasons in which he has scored at least 50 goals. And as good as Stamkos has been, more people would know about him if he played in a bigger market. But that could all change this week.
Led by Stamkos, the Lightning are set to make just their second appearance in the Stanley Cup Final as they are gearing up to face the Chicago Blackhawks who are going for their third Stanley Cup Championship since 2010. As a team, the Lightning have spent this postseason knocking off the blue bloods of the National Hockey League as they’ve defeated three Original Six teams in the Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, and New York Rangers en route to winning the Eastern Conference Title. And the Lightning will meet another Original Six team in the Blackhawks. But led by Stamkos, it has been a total team effort for the Lightning.
In this postseason Stamkos has scored 7 goals, but his scoring ability has been setting up teammates as he also has 10 assists where teammates Valtteri Filppula and Alex Killorn have been the beneficiaries on his line. And Stamkos’ ability to score and pass will be vital in the Stanley Cup Final as the Blackhawks are a team of stars that are led by center Jonathan Toews, right winger Patrick Kane, and defenseman Duncan Keith just to name a few. Stamkos has rebounded from the broken leg that put a dent into his 2013-2014 NHL season while also robbing him of the chance to play for Canada in the 2014 Olympics to now closing in on being a part of the first Lightning team to hoist the Stanley Cup since 2004 to hoist the Stanley Cup. And if the Lightning are able to knock off the favored Blackhawks, Stamkos won’t just be a popular figure in Tampa as he’ll truly become a household name in both Canada and America.