Despite loss to Ducks, another notable night for Tampa Bay Lightning star Steven Stamkos
Yes, there were too many penalties. And, yes, the Tampa Bay Lightning needs to do a better job killing off shorthanded situations. But let’s look at one play that was really positive in Thursday’s 4-3 overtime loss to the Ducks, and had a lot of people in the press box at the Honda Center talking: Steven Stamkos’ goal from his back that was part of the Lightning’s three-goal comeback.
Before anyone saw a replay, many believed Anaheim’s Nick Boynton knocked the puck into his own net. But the replays showed something different. It showed Stamkos falling after taking a shot at goalie Jonas Hiller and whacking at the puck that popped up and seemed to hang in mid air after Hiller made the save.
It was Stamkos’ team-best 14th goal.
Asked if it was skill or luck, Stamkos smiled and said, “I think luck. I’m not going to say that’s skill. Probably something that happens one out of ten times. Shot the puck, it went in the air, I’m kind of falling, just whacked it. I’ll take it; very lucky.”
Stamkos was critical of his own team, though, for taking so many penalties.
“I think we had six penalties in a row,” he said. “It’s not acceptable, especially if you want to win, especially on the road, especially against a team with that talent. … It’s your mental approach coming into the game; if you’re ready and feeling good and moving your feet and not hooking and holding and grabbing and tripping. It’s tough. You’ve got to be smart out there. It’s the way you body position yourself. Just be aware of where the puck is on the ice, where the players are. It’s tough but we have to find a way. We can’t afford to keep taking penalties and expect to win.”
More on penalties, and how to avoid them, in Saturday’s paper. As Stamkos said, “We played five on five, we played a solid game. Penalties obviously were killing us. But five on five we were in their zone and getting chances. We realize that if we stay out of the box, we have a chance.”