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)

Lightning's Steven Stamkos picks up skating pace

Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos (91) leaves Toronto Maple Leafs center Tyler Bozak (42) on the ice as he breaks towards the net during first period at the Amalie Arena in Tampa Monday evening (03/28/16).

DIRK SHADD | Times

Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos (91) leaves Toronto Maple Leafs center Tyler Bozak (42) on the ice as he breaks towards the net during first period at the Amalie Arena in Tampa Monday evening (03/28/16).

TAMPA — Watching C Steven Stamkos zip around the ice at Thursday's practice, it was hard to tell anything is wrong.

Though Stamkos, recovering from April 4 surgery to fix a blood clot in his collarbone area, was still in a red noncontact jersey, his skating seemed the same. On the ice with teammates for the third consecutive day, Stamkos participated in some drills and conditioning, and even took his trademark one-timers, albeit with not quite as much force.

"He looks like himself," LW Alex Killorn said. "He looks like the 'Stammer' we know."

There has been no change in Stamkos' recovery time line — it is still one to three months — the All-Star awaiting the moment he can get off blood thinner medication, which is preventing him from contact and game-like situations. But Stamkos said that once he gets the okay from doctors to stop taking blood thinners — no appointment for that is scheduled — he would need just a 12- to 24-hour period before being cleared for more intense work.

That's why the Lightning's leading scorer will continue to ramp up activities, though coach Jon Cooper said he expected to play the second-round playoff series against the Islanders that began Wednesday without Stamkos.

"It's just giving myself a chance if that time arises … and that visit to the doctor comes and they say, 'You're okay to resume play,' " Stamkos said. "It could be weeks. It could be months. That's the tough part about it."

It was also difficult for Stamkos to watch Wednesday's 5-3 loss in Game 1.

"You catch yourself thinking, 'What if I was out there, what if (D Anton Stralman, out with a broken leg) was out there?' " Stamkos said. "That's just the game of what-ifs in your head. That's the crappy part about it."

CONDRA OKAY: It didn't look good Wednesday when RW Erik Condra took a nasty fall into the boards early in the first period on a hit by Islanders C Casey Cizikas.

Condra looked dazed and had to be helped off the ice by a trainer and two teammates. He never returned to the game.

Cooper seemed encouraged Thursday about how Condra was feeling.

"That was a hit that looked really bad," Cooper said. "But he's doing a lot better than the actual hit looked."

Cooper didn't appear to have an issue with Cizikas' hit, which came near the Lightning red line as Condra was sending a pass up the ice. "A hockey play," Cooper said.

Cooper said he wasn't sure if Condra would skate in the next few days or be available for Saturday's Game 2. Tampa Bay may have a forward or two from the group of extra players called the "black aces" practice today.

"(Condra is) fine; he's in good spirits," Cooper said. "Just a tough one

MINOR MATTERS: The Lightning and AHL Syracuse announced a six-year affiliation extension. The two have been together since the 2012 season, with 36 players appearing with both teams in that time.

NUTS AND BOLTS: Fifteen players participated in the optional practice at Amalie Arena. The Lightning was scheduled to practice at 11 a.m. today at Brandon's Ice Sports Forum, the Islanders at 1:30 p.m.

Contact Joe Smith at joesmith@tampabay.com. Follow @TBTimes_JSmith.

Lightning's Steven Stamkos picks up skating pace 04/28/16 [Last modified: Thursday, April 28, 2016 11:59pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. J.T. Brown of Lightning respects NFL players' protests

    Blogs

    There was something in the air in the NFL on Sunday. President Trump’s comments and tweets on NFL player protests achieved the effect of creating more of them. Lightning winger J.T. Brown was asked about it as he stood in a hall at Amalie Arena, a few hours before the Lightning played the Florida Panthers in …

    J.T. Brown, one of about 30 African-American players in the National Hockey League, would not rule out that he might protest.
  2. Cannon Fodder podcast: Bucs-Vikings review

    Bucs

    Greg Auman looks back on Sunday's 34-17 loss to the Minnesota Vikings in the latest edition of our Bucs Cannon Fodder podcast.

    Quarterback Jameis Winston is sacked during the first half of the Bucs' 34-17 loss to the Vikings. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  3. Who took a knee? How each NFL team responded to Donald Trump's tweets about anthem protests

    Bucs

    NFL players, coaches and owners across the league reacted in various ways on Sunday to remarks from President Donald Trump speaking about NFL players who have protested during the national anthem.

    Members of the Oakland Raiders kneel during the playing of the National Anthem before an NFL football game against the Washington Redskins in Landover, Md., Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017. [Alex Brandon | Associated Press]
  4. East Lake alum George Campbell starting to click at Florida State

    Blogs

    When receiver Auden Tate (Wharton High) went down with a shoulder injury for Florida State on Saturday, the Seminoles' offense took a major hit. Quarterback James Blackman was 16-of-22 for 190 yards before Tate's injury and 6-of-16 for 88 after it.

  5. Fennelly: Our president, our protests

    Blogs

    Our president has done more to foster protests during the national anthem than the protestors.

    Bucs receivers Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson both took a knee and put a hand over their hearts.