Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Fennelly: For Lightning, Stamkos injury is just another speed bump

The Lightning's Jonathan Drouin, right, scores a goal against the Philadelphia Flyers' Steve Mason Saturday in Philadelphia. [AP photo]

The Lightning's Jonathan Drouin, right, scores a goal against the Philadelphia Flyers' Steve Mason Saturday in Philadelphia. [AP photo]

This is what they do.

This is what the coach does, too.

And that matters. A lot.

The Lightning lost Steven Stamkos last week to a knee injury, not to be confused with his other injuries.

So naturally the Lightning went out and won their first two games without Stamkos, including Saturday's 3-0 victory at Philadelphia. They're in Nashville tonight to play the Predators.

The Lightning are old pros at this injury deal, especially the Stamkos injury deal. I keep thinking they can't keep this up, can't keep beating the house.

But there I am, talking about how Lightning forwards like Tyler Johnson, Odrej Palat and Jonatan Drouin have to step up in Stamkos' absence. Then I look at the box score Saturday, and there are the goal scorers: Johnson, Palat, Drouin.

This is what the Lightning do.

It pushes on. It has a lot of experience at it. It handles crisis.

So does its coach.

I remember a conversation I had before the season with Lightning coach Jon Cooper. It told me a lot about his approach and, as such, his team's approach. Stamkos missed 45 games with a broken leg in Cooper's first full season as head coach.

"There are fears and challenges all along the way," Cooper said. "The first one, for me, is when you get hired. That's an 'Oh, my,' moment. But you're confident. I can do this. Then your top scorer breaks his leg. Now you've got to reset. You've got a pity party and a fear factor and you have to fight through it and let everybody know we're not going to waver. That was a big turning point for me. Not blinking was the biggest thing.

"Once you've gone through these, as the leader of the band, I truly believe that when as a team they see you're okay and confident, and there's a belief we as a staff have in our players, no matter what happens, they'll have that same belief. … They're just speed bumps. Just slow down, go over the bumps, then speed up again."

Here are Cooper and the Lightning is again. Another speed bump. This is what they do.

To blink of not to blink?

That is the question.

Fennelly: For Lightning, Stamkos injury is just another speed bump 11/21/16 [Last modified: Sunday, November 20, 2016 3:10pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. USF tight end Palmore faces charge of credit card fraud

    Crime

    A University of South Florida football player faces charges of fraudulent use of a credit card and petit theft following his arrest by Temple Terrace police on Monday.

    USF senior tight end Adrian Palmore faces charges of fraudulent use of a credit card and petit theft after his arrest by Temple Terrace police on June 19, 2017. [Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]
  2. Rowdies defender gets the call to represent Jamaica

    Soccer

    ST. PETERSBURG —- Damion Lowe has loved his first season with the Rowdies but has some other soccer-related business that might pull him away for a bit.

    Family business, too.

    Tampa Bay Rowdies defender Damion Lowe collides with Louisville City FC forward Luke Spencer earlier this year.
  3. Sarasota's Scooter Gennett: Utility man turned historic slugger

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — On June 10, 2009, the Brewers selected a Sarasota High School shortstop in the 16th round of the MLB draft. He'd assembled an impressive resume in prep ball, but as one of more than 1,500 players drafted that year, he had a tough road to the big leagues.

    Cincinnati Reds second baseman Scooter Gennett (4) of Sarasota makes the throw to first as Rays DH Trevor Plouffe (14) grounds into a double play at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg Monday, June 19, 2017. For Gennett, the three-game series this week with the Rays was his first trip back to Tampa Bay since his historic four-home run game June 6, 2017 against St. Louis. DIRK SHADD   |   Times  

  4. Vegas Golden Knights expansion selections

    Lightning Strikes

    Vegas Golden Knights expansion selections

    Goaltenders

    Calvin Pickard, Colorado Avalanche

    J.F. Berube, New York Islanders

    Marc-Andre Fleury, Pittsburgh Penguins

    Forwards

    Teemu Pulkkinen, Arizona Coyotes

    William Carrier, Buffalo Sabres

    Cody Eakin, Dallas Stars …

  5. Lightning's Victor Hedman third in Norris Trophy voting

    Lightning Strikes

    Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman knew he was a long shot to win the Norris Trophy, given to the league's top defenseman, at Wednesday's NHL awards show.

    LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 21:  Victor Hedman of the Tampa Bay Lightning attends the 2017 NHL Awards at T-Mobile Arena on June 21, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) 700065353