Lightning C Steven Stamkos on superstitions, shootouts and facing the Maple Leafs
Who knew Steve Stamkos was so superstitious?
Actually, the better question is why wouldn’t he be? “Anyone player who tells you they’re not superstitious is probably lying,” he said.
Asked to give some examples of his superstitions, Stamkos mentioned:
* Putting the left side of his equipment on first, including his skates.
* If he is going well, using the same stick wax, taping his stick the same way, eating at the same restaurant for pregame meals.
* If he is going well, not using his stick during practices, saving it for the games.
“Little things like that I’m sure fans get a chuckle from,” he said.
Other interesting stuff from Stamkos included playing against the team, the Maple Leafs, for which he grew up cheering.
“I definitely hear a lot more from friends and family when we play Toronto,” said Stamkos, who grew up in the Toronto suburb of Unionville, Ontario. “I think my first few years in the league it was pretty cool to play against them. Now, I played against them so much it’s like playing another game. But it definitely is always special to play the team you grew up cheering for as a kid.”
Stamkos also said he does not study video of opposing goalies.
“Hockey is a game of reaction, and each different scenario on the ice is going to be different,” he said. “You’re definitely aware if a goalie has tendencies, but it’s about reading the play and reacting to where the goalie is. I just try to read the play.”
On shootouts, on which he is 5-for-26 in his career, he said, “I wouldn’t say it’s something I key on. It’s a big part of the game and something I’d probably love to be better at. Maybe I should practice it a little more.”
Other stuff from the morning skate: As expected, Anders Lindback gets the start in net for Tampa Bay. He is expected to face Ben Scrivens who has back-to-back 3-0 shutouts and is 4-3-0 with a 1.93 goals-against average and .939 save percentage. … Lightning defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron gets a second straight game. Stamkos said he knows his answer was cliché, but Tampa Bay needs to gets as much traffic and as many shots as possible on Scrivens. “He can’ts top every puck.” … Coach Guy Boucher said he will decide after warm-ups if he will go with six or seven defensemen. … Defenseman Brian Lee is minus-9. Only four NHL players are worse. But Boucher said the stat is misleading. “In his case when we looked at the video, most of those minuses didn’t originate from him making a big boo-boo. It was more of a team thing. He couldn’t do much about it.” … Former Lightning center Tim Taylor will be honored at tonight’s game as part of the team’s 20th anniversary celebration. “If you can be here you owe it to the fans,” said Taylor, who works for the Blues as director of player development. Taylor said he would have loved for the Lightning to get a chance to defend the Stanley Cup with the same group that won it in 2004. But the 2004-05 lockout meant a different lineup, particularly in net as Nikolai Khabibulin went to the Blackhawks. “I wouldn’t say cheated, but do I feel like we missed an opportunity? Yeah.”