Stamkos still working on timing
Lightning star Steven Stamkos didn't participate in today's morning skate, but there's no cause for concern. He's playing tonight against the Coyotes.
With Stamkos having played just two games since returning from a broken right tibia, he said he's going to work with the training staff on taking a day, or skate, off to manage the recovery. Along with Sunday's team off day, he's got some extra rest.
Though Stamkos has no points in his first two games back, and he's a minus-three, he's played well overall. He's logging more than 21 minutes each game, combining for six shots, while also winning more than 65-percent of his faceoffs.
"It's going to come," Stamkos said. "I've just got to stick with it. As much as I wanted to be back where it was before the injury, it might take some time. I'm hoping to gradually build that up."
Coach Jon Cooper said he's not surprised Stamkos has been able to perform well despite having missed 45 games, but the biggest things he needs to improve are is timing and conditioning.
"There's a reason he's elite," Cooper said. "The one thing I would say (to him), 'You've just go adjust the scope on your stick a little bit, you're a little off.' But that's all timing. And you have to play games, that doesn't come back naturally. You can see he's getting his timing back, starting to accelerate through things. Now it's just his legs and his lungs, because you can't duplicate anything really of playing games. You kind of just have to play them to get back into shape, but he's been really good."