Last night’s Capitals/Lightning game was supposed to be another stepping stone towards the playoffs for Alexander Ovechkin and Washington, but as has been the case on many nights this season, Steven Stamkos stole the show.

Stamkos scored two goals in the game’s final 63 seconds to hand the Caps a crushing defeat and creep closer to the iconic 60-goal mark with his 57th and 58th of the year. Even more impressive, the goals gave Steven 46 even strength goals on the season, the most anyone has scored in the NHL in nearly 20 years.

It’s still too early in the 22-year-old’s career to talk legacies and such, but with 177 goals in just 322 career games played (45 goals per 82 games), a couple of 50-goal seasons already under his belt and a 60-goal season within reach, you wonder how long before we’re all throwing the Unionville, Ontario boy’s name around with some of the greatest snipers to lace them up.

On to the links:

  • Stamkos wants no special treatment to help him get to 60 goals (Tampa Bay Times). You have to admire that Stamkos doesn’t want teammates constantly looking for him instead of looking for their own, but realistically, in a lost season for the Lightning, why not?
  • Tampa beat the Capitals, and helped the Panthers in the Southeast Division race, for Florida state pride (Sun Sentinel). Why wouldn’t a roster without any players from Florida do it for the pride of the state of Florida?
  • Mike Milbury thinks Sidney Crosby’s a punk and that Dan Bylsma should have “taken his skirt off” (The Pitt Stop). It’s one thing to say crazy things that few people agree with if you actually believe them, like Don Cherry. But I’ve always gotten the feeling that Milbury talks and says outlandish things for the sake of saying them and raising some eyebrows. I also feel like when you’re as big a failure as Mike Milbury has been in the NHL (How ’bout those Islanders?), you shouldn’t be able to run your mouth about guys who have had more success than you can even dream about.
  • I’m clearly not the only one who thinks lowly of Milbury. Check out this letter, “Dear Mike Milbury.” (The Hockey Writers)
  • After feeling the officiating favoured the Kings last night, Oilers coach Tom Renney responded to a question about drawing penalties with “Maybe [they] need Hollywood in the playoffs.” (Puck Daddy)
  • With just five days left in the regular season, here are the key games remaining on the NHL schedule (Boston Herald).
  • Canadiens forward Lars Eller has earned his coach’s confidence (Calgary Herald). Too bad the coach hasn’t earned anyone’s confidence yet. Lars will have probably have to win over a new boss sooner, rather than later.
  • With Tomas Vokoun reaggravating a groin injury, the pressure is back on the Capitals’ young goalies (Washington Post). While there’s always pressure in the net in the thick of a playoff race, I’d say there’s plenty of pressure to go around that talented Caps dressing room.