Steven Stamkos oof


Tampa Bay 0
Boston 3 (Recap)


Notable Numbers

* Tuukka Rask stopped all 28 shots Boston threw at him, for a save percentage of (*calculator out*)…1.000. That brings his save percentage on the year to .948, which while technically “third best” in the league finds him behind two guys (J.S. Giguere and Frederik Andersen of Anaheim) who’ve combined to play 11 games. He’s played 15, so his numbers are a biiit more stable.

* Tampa’s tender was actually pretty darn solid too - Anders Lindback stopped 23 of 25 shots (Iginla scored an empty-netter).

* Patrice Bergeron and Daniel Paille scored Boston’s goals.


What Happened

Steven Stamkos is very badly hurt

No. Nonono no. No.

Steven Stamkos was back-checking on Dougie Hamilton when some fairly average contact saw him wipe out and slide into his own net. Unfortunately things played out horribly and his right shin wrapped around the post, to the point where the name Joe Theismann started showing up on Twitter. His tibia broke, he’ll have surgery Tuesday, and he’ll miss three-to-six months. That means he’ll very likely miss the Olympics after being a shoo-in to make his first Olympic appearance with Team Canada after narrowly missing being chosen four years ago (he was on the short list).

I don’t need to go through all the stats, because it’s not close to a secret – he’s been the best goal scorer on earth over the past five seasons, he’s universally liked, and he’s essential to the success of Tampa Bay. If they do anything other than flounder without him, Jon Cooper should win the Jack Adams.

Okay, here’s the video (chosen over a GIF so it won’t autoplay for those of you who are squeamish. If you’re not, you can check out the GIF here, it probably shows what happens better).

The pain he’s in is sickening to watch.

The bright side, if any: this tweet…

…and the word that Canada will bring him to Sochi regardless.

I personally wish him the best, as I know all hockey fans do.


An Opinion

My worst injury was a clean slapshot to the jaw, which, I don’t even know if that’s a bad enough injury to equate to what just happened to Stamkos, but I’ll share my mental state in the immediate moments following the damage: fear. Pure fear. I was just scared, man.

There’s so much uncertainty in the time between the incident and the diagnosis, and there’s nothing anyone can do. All you know is something is badly wrong, you just don’t know how bad. You don’t know what’s ahead – surgery, rehab, drugs? Will you be put back together exactly the same as you were 10 minutes ago? Are the right doctors going to be a part of your life? Will you play again? Can you make it worse in the time between now and surgery?

Steven Stamkos plays in the NHL, so maybe he’s more comfortable knowing that he’s going to be looked after better than I thought I was up in Alaska (what a place to be on a road trip when a serious injury happens), but there’s no comfort. And consider all the other mental aspects for Stamkos. He had huge personal aspirations this year – he’s in the prime output years for a goal scorer. As of today he’s tied for the league lead in NHL scoring. His team is doing well. It’s an Olympic year. The frustration must be as unbearable as the pain.

I believe that players who go through what Stamkos has ahead should consider counselling, or their teams need to make a real effort to include them. Once I got through the initial misery, I fell into a place so dark I started blogging. Ugh. (No but seriously, I was one lonely, depressed person at times. He should try to be around the room as much as possible when he’s able to.)


Other News

* I spent today at the PrimeTime Sports Management Conference, which was home to some pretty excellent speakers including Brian Burke, Gary Bettman, Dave Nonis and more. I compiled some of what I thought to be the best quotes from day one here.

* The Nail Yakupov situation in Edmonton is derailing. His agent, Igor Larionov, spoke today:

If you’d like to read more, Terry Jones’ feed includes some good stuff from Larionov as well.

If I were a GM I’d be throwing assets at Edmonton to grab a talent like Yakupov 65 games into his career while his value is low.

* The Hall of Fame inducted a handful of new members yesterday, including names like Niedermeyer, Chelios and Shanahan. You can check out all the speeches and commentary from Monday here.

* Gary Bettman believes Brendan Shanahan’s off-ice contributions will exceed his on-ice ones? Ohhhhkay.

And finally…

* Bryzgalov is with the Oilers American League affiliate. How bad does their goaltending have to be before he gets a shot? “As bad as it’s been” is probably good enough, no?