The Bolts couldn’t be going into the All-Star break any hotter. They are currently riding a five game winning streak. While Steven Stamoks snapped a six-game scoring streak last night, he still leads the league in goals (38) and points (67). Almost hard to imagine that after his rookie season, some were calling this 1st overall draft pick a bust.
Stamkos isn’t the only one on fire. Dwayne Roloson is making Steve Yzerman look like a very smart man with three shutouts since joining the Lightning in early January, especially with two of those shutouts coming against the offensively potent Washington Capitals. He is currently boasting a .922 save percentage and a 2.25 goals against average with the Bolts, going 7-3 in 10 decisions.
Another player who has had strong play lately is sophomore defenseman Victor Hedman. He had a great game last night, tallying an assist, leading rushes up ice, and even drew a penalty. Last night was just a mini sample of how he has been playing this season. Last year was a learning experience for him as a rookie, and his positioning and puck movement are much better now. He had quite the adjustment coming from a different style of play and sized rink in Sweden, but he has adjusted nicely and continues to get better.
Despite the good play that’s being interrupted for the All-Star Game, Tampa By is probably looking forward to the break. A few days away from the rink give everyone a chance to refresh themselves. Even Stamoks and Martin St. Louis, the Lightning’s ASG representatives, will be able to change up the routine, getting to spend some time with other players around the league and change up the scenery.
After a few days removed, most players come back with a new focus. They can miss it and get excited about playing again. This reset should only help the Lightning continue their strong play. Then have ten straight home games remaining in the record-breaking homestand, and being able to heal up is always a good thing. Most of the team can head home while Stamkos and St. Louis head to Raleigh.