Monday, May 21, 2018
Tampa Bay Lightning

Lightning's St. Louis will replace Stamkos on Olympic team

Steven Stamkos won't be going to the Olympics because his broken right tibia is not fully healed.

But the Lightning's star center said of teammate Marty St. Louis, who will play for Canada in Stamkos' place, "He probably deserved to be on the team since Day 1, so for him to get a chance now, I'm definitely happy for him."

St. Louis was left off the team when it was first announced on Jan. 7, a snub he admitted made him "bitter," especially because Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman also is Team Canada's executive director.

But now that St. Louis will travel to Sochi, Russia, for the tournament that begins Wednesday, Stamkos said his St. Louis, if given the chance, will be a major contributor.

"He's going to go over there and play whatever role possible," Stamkos said. I personally think he's going to play a big role. The character that he has, the way he's played in big-game situations in the past. He's won individual awards, he's won team championships, he's been in those situations. It's not like it's a young guy whose never been in those situations coming in filling in for someone. This is a guy who can step in and play any role asked, and I think he's going to play a big role in Canada doing very well."

St. Louis cerainly has proven, at 38, that age is no obstacleto production. The right wing leads the Lightning with 25 goals, 29 assists and 54 points in 56 games. HIs average 21:49 of ice time leads all league wings.

Stamkos said he does not see St. Louis as his replacement.

"I see Marty deserving a spot on this team," Stamkos said. "He's going to go over there and prove to everyone why he deserves a spot and why he's on that team. I'm very happy for him. Ultimately, I would have loved to go over there together."

Stamkos, though, said he will spend the Olympic break in Tampa continuing his rehab, which he said will not slow down despite coach Jon Cooper's wish that Stamkos "go somewhere and jump on an island and sip Mai Tais for a week."

Stamkos, who will be reevaluated in two to three weeks, said he might take a day or two off, "But I'll be going out there and skating and working hard to make sure I'll be ready for the Tampa Bay Lightning. We want to keep progressing. If I take a week off that's not going to help my leg. We want to keep pushing those muscles, making sure you're still putting pressure on the bone so it continues to heal."

If all goes well, Stamkos could return to the lineup Feb. 27 at Nashville, the Lightning's first game after the Olympic break. Had he been cleared to play, he said he expected to play tonight at home against the Maple Leafs despite having said earlier he was targeting Saturday's game against the Red Wings.

"I was disappointed," Stamkos said of not being cleared. "You put in the hard work and appreciate the work all the trainers have done, the support you've got from your teammates, your coaching staff, the organization, your friends, your family. I've said that all I want to do is to be able to look myself in the mirror and say I did everything I could to give myself a chance."

"I feel terrible for Stammer that he's in this situation," St. Louis said. "Obviously, Canada is going to miss him. But I think if you ask Stammer, if anybody could replace him I know he would want me, so I'm going to try to go over there and do the best I can."

   
Comments
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Lightning one win from Stanley Cup final

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Lightning one win from Stanley Cup final

The Lightning plays in Washington tonight with a chance to close out the series and advance to the Stanley Cup final. Tom Jones joins Rick Stroud to talk about the game and why Andrei Vasilevskiy and the defense is playing so well.Plus, the...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Lightning watch party tonight for Game 6

Lightning watch party tonight for Game 6

Tampa Bay Lightning fans can gather to witness the team's possible clinching of a Stanley Cup final berth tonight in downtown Tampa.The watch party for Game 6 in Washington starts at 6 p.m. at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park.It will include three screen...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Stanley Cup-bound Vegas turning impossible into possible

Stanley Cup-bound Vegas turning impossible into possible

LAS VEGAS — Welcome to Impossible.Those words have been projected onto the ice in big, bold letters at T-Mobile Arena before each game during the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Well, the Vegas Golden Knights are turning impossible into possible.The stun...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Expansion Vegas advances to Stanley Cup final

Expansion Vegas advances to Stanley Cup final

WINNIPEG — The Vegas Golden Knights are going to the Stanley Cup final — with a chip on their shoulder."Everybody on this team has something to prove," forward Ryan Reaves said. "We call ourselves 'The Golden Misfits' for a reason. We're ...
Published: 05/20/18
Lightning-Capitals: Familiar ground for Capitals as they face elimination

Lightning-Capitals: Familiar ground for Capitals as they face elimination

TAMPA – Capitals G Braden Holtby basically summed up playoff life for the Capitals after Saturday's Game 5 loss in the Eastern Conference final when he said the team never makes it easy for itself."No, we don't," coach Barry Trotz agreed Sunday...
Published: 05/20/18
Lightning-Capitals: In playoffs, Lightning and its town become one

Lightning-Capitals: In playoffs, Lightning and its town become one

TAMPA — The Lightning is a win away from a trip to the Stanley Cup final. Its Game 5 win Saturday, to take a 3-2 lead over the Washington Capitals, was another chapter of a story being written on the fly."Think about Game 1 in New Jersey,"...
Published: 05/20/18
Lightning-Capitals: Lightning keeps Alex Ovechkin under control

Lightning-Capitals: Lightning keeps Alex Ovechkin under control

TAMPA — Alex Ovechkin headed toward the Capitals' locker room two hours before the start of Saturday's Game 5 of the Eastern Conference final with the swagger of an elite athlete that suggested he was about take over a game and make life misera...
Published: 05/20/18
Live blog: Lightning has chance to clinch series in Game 6

Live blog: Lightning has chance to clinch series in Game 6

Follow our live coverage of the Eastern Conference final between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Washington Capitals.We'll have updates, analysis, photos, video and more on and off the ice from Times reporters, editors, sports columnists and photo journa...
Updated: 3 minutes ago
Lightning-Capitals: How Tampa Bay withstood Washington’s barrage

Lightning-Capitals: How Tampa Bay withstood Washington’s barrage

TAMPA — A two-goal lead was suddenly only one, and the Washington Capitals, having pulled their goalie, had a furious 96-second siege.Andrei Vasilevskiy made the last three of his 28 saves to preserve the Lightning's 3-2 victory Saturday in Gam...
Published: 05/19/18
Updated: 05/20/18
Lightning-Capitals: How Tampa Bay’s early surges carried the day

Lightning-Capitals: How Tampa Bay’s early surges carried the day

TAMPA — Dan Girardi knew where the puck was heading. It was heading to Alex Ovechkin for a one-timer on net, so Girardi did the only thing he could do. He blocked it.With his rump."It hit me right in the cheek," said Girardi, the Lightning defe...
Published: 05/19/18