The sound you are currently hearing is a collective sigh of relief from all around Tampa Bay. Earlier today, Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos was given the all clear to return to the Lightning lineup.
He is expected to play tomorrow night at the Tampa Bay Times Forum against the Buffalo Sabres.
This will be the first time that Stamkos has taken the ice since in a game time situation since fracturing his tibia on November 11th at the TD Garden as the Tampa Bay Lightning faced off with Zdeno Chara and the Boston Bruins in their third encounter of the season.
Stamkos has come close to returning in the past; however, small details have kept him from being fully prepared; however, after seeing team physician this morning, he was given the all clear.
Just left the doctors office. Got the green light. See you tomorrow Bolts fans. Excited to be back !!
— Steven Stamkos (@RealStamkos91) March 5, 2014
According to Lightning Beat Writer Missy Zielinski, Stamkos is ready to get back to work with a brand new focus on his career.
Stamkos: “I have a new perspective on my career as a pro athlete. Hopefully I can be a guy who uses this as motivation to my advantage.”
— Missy Zielinski (@Missy_Zielinski) March 5, 2014
Before being sidelined with his injury, Stamkos was on the fast track to the NHL points lead. In the 17 games he played prior to injury, he had already scored 14 goals and 9 assists for a total of 23 points to go along with his plus-11 rating.
Hopefully, Stammer’s return will be the big Bolt jolt that the team needs to pull themselves out of the funk they have found themselves in recently. I know that I, for one, am excited to see the Lightning sniper return.
Do you think Stamkos’ return will have an immediate impact on the team? Do you think he will be up to his full potential upon his return, or will he need some time to be eased back into the system? Let us know what you think in the comments below.