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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Stamkos — 47 Goals and Empowering the Lightning

On Saturday, Stamkos notched his 46th and 47th goals in a 4-3 overtime win over the Hurricanes. Without question, he is providing the inspiration to the team to continue to fight for a playoff spot. The Lightning have 68 points in 65 games while the two other teams battling for the eight and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, the Jets and Sabres, met head to head on Monday and the Jets came out with a 3-1 victory. That gives them 72 points in 67 games played, while the Sabres have 68 points in 66 games played.

The Lightning have 17 games remaining and 10 of those will be at home. Importantly, in those 17 games they will play the Jets twice, the Capitals twice, the Leafs twice and the Sabres once. Those seven games are going to decide whether the Lightning make the playoffs or not.  

Getting back to Stamkos, his 47 goals give him nine more than Malkin who has 38. In overall points, Malkin has 81 while Stamkos has 80, but one must consider that Malkin has played seven fewer games due to injury. Malkin is a heavy favorite to win the Hart Trophy this year but if Stamkos keeps his pace and gets the Lightning into the playoffs it would be incredible. It would be incredible because the team has not been given much support from the goaltending department, and particularly Roloson. Garon was also less than stellar for more than two-thirds of the season.

TJ Stanley