Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos will be out indefinitely after sustaining a knee injury in the first period against the Detroit Red Wings Tuesday.
It has become abundantly clear the month of November is not the greatest time in the world for the Tampa Bay Lightning. While the team has found plenty of success over the course of the month, the cost of said success is starting to far outweigh the celebration.
As most Tampa Bay Lightning fans know by now, Lightning captain Steven Stamkos was forced to leave the game against the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday night in the first period after taking a rather awkward fall along the boards.
Stamkos attempted to finish the shift, but when it became apparent he was having difficulty putting weight on the leg, everyone knew there was something wrong. The captain was able to make it to the Lightning bench under his own volition, but after being quickly evaluated by Lightning Head Athletic Trainer Tom Mulligan, Stamkos was headed down the tunnel and to the Lightning locker room.
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The news would come in the second period that Stamkos would not be returning to the ice and joining his teammates for the remainder of the game. On the bright side, the Tampa Bay Lightning went on to defeat the Red Wings 4-3 at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.
As you can imagine, Steven Stamkos was further evaluated this morning. Unfortunately, Lightning fans did not exactly get the news they were hoping for.
Just a little while ago, Tampa Bay Lightning Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman released a statement regarding the status of Steven Stamkos.
“Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos suffered a lateral meniscus tear in his right knee during the team’s game against the Detroit Red Wings Tuesday night and will remain out of the lineup indefinitely,” Yzerman said in his press release. “We are in the process of evaluating options for repair and rehabilitation and will release more information as it becomes available.”
The news sounds eerily familiar to another incident involving Stamkos and his right leg. Back on November 11, 2013, the Tampa Bay Lightning were taking on the Boston Bruins at the TD Garden in Boston. After colliding with Bruins defenseman Dougie Hamilton, Stamkos took an awkward fall and collided with the goal post.
From the very second Stamkos hit the post, everyone knew there was something seriously wrong. Much like Tuesday night’s incident, Stamkos attempt to get to his feet; however, the pressure of his own weight bearing down on his leg was simply too much for him to take.
It would later be announced that Stamkos had broken his right tibia and would be out indefinitely. Obviously, Stammer would be forced to undergo surgery to repair the break. In this instance, Stamkos would miss just over three months away from the ice, returning on March 6, 2014, against the Buffalo Sabres.
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There is no telling how long it is going to take Stamkos to recover from his injuries this time around. Needless to say, the injury couldn’t possibly come at a worse time. Well…unless you take the postseason into consideration, but we are incredibly far from that point right now.
The 26-year-old Lightning captain just signed an eight-year contract with the Bolts worth around $68 million. After notching his ninth goal of the season against the Red Wings in the first period, before his injury, Stamkos slipped into first place on the team in goals and second place in points behind Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov.
While the team is certainly going to miss a powerful goal scorer like Steven Stamkos, the Tampa Bay Lightning have a lot of depth within their ranks, and much like they did when Stamkos went down in 2013, the Lightning will come together and find a way to continue their success in the absence of their captain.
Tomorrow night, the Lightning are set to head to the KeyBank Center where they will take on the Buffalo Sabres in the third game of the Lighting’s current road trip. The Buffalo Sabres may be in last place in the Atlantic Division right now, but you never want to underestimate a team while they’re down. The Lightning are going to have to continue their aggressive play if they want to come home with another two points in Buffalo.