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)

Tampa Bay Lightning's Steven Stamkos would trade goal marks for playoff run

There was one overriding theme for Steven Stamkos during his pursuit of 60 goals: He would much rather his success had propelled the Lightning into the playoffs.

"You trade this stuff in a heartbeat for winning a championship," Stamkos said. "You don't play to score a certain amount of goals or to get individual awards. You play to win a league championship game."

That's a pretty level-headed statement for a 22-year-old. But Stamkos has a frame of reference from which to draw. He played last season into Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final, the most fun he has had playing hockey, he said.

And he certainly has had teammate Marty St. Louis whispering in his ear about how nonplayoff seasons have made him appreciate so much more Tampa Bay's 2004 Stanley Cup run.

Stamkos still enjoys his accomplishments. His favorite word recently has been "surreal."

He used it when he became the seventh NHL player — with Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Mike Bossy, Joe Nieuwendyk, Pavel Bure and Alex Ovechkin — to have two 50-goal seasons before age 23.

He used it when Hall of Fame coach Scotty Bowman compared his playing style to Bossy's.

But Stamkos added this: "What gets you being mentioned with those players is also having a championship. That's when you know you have done a lot."

In the meantime:

Stamkos' 47 even-strength goals entered Saturday 10 more than any other player. His 36 goals at home by themselves would have tied him for ninth in the overall league race. His 12 winners led the league entering Saturday, and his 96 points were a career best.

"But the gold standard is a Stanley Cup championship," he said. "That's what you work hard to win. There are so many people who have played this game for so long and never gotten a chance. Obviously, you want to take that opportunity and cherish it, take nothing for granted. My goal is to win a championship. I haven't done that yet, and I'll keep working hard towards that."

Tampa Bay Lightning's Steven Stamkos would trade goal marks for playoff run 04/07/12 [Last modified: Saturday, April 7, 2012 7:43pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Aaron Hernandez had severe CTE; daughter sues NFL, Patriots

    Bucs

    BOSTON — Tests conducted on the brain of former football star Aaron Hernandez showed severe signs of the degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy, and his attorney said Thursday that the player's daughter is suing the NFL and the New England Patriots for leading Hernandez to believe the sport …

    Aaron Hernandez's lawyer says the former New England Patriots tight end's brain showed severe signs of the degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy. [AP photo]
  2. Bucs' Josh Robinson excited for return to Vikings

    Bucs

    For much of Josh Robinson's four seasons with the Vikings, there was excitement leading up to the arrival of the $1.1-billion U.S. Bank Stadium, which opened last season, just as Robinson signed with the …

    Josh Robinson (26) tackles Chicago punt returner Eddie Royal (19) during a game between the Bucs and Bears in 2016. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  3. For starters: Rays at Orioles, meeting up with ex-mate Tim Beckham

    Blogs

    UPDATE, 6:05: Cash gave both CF Kevin Kiermaier and SS Adeiny Hechavarria a day off, noting they have been playing pretty much everyday. ... That also gave them a chance to look more at two of their younger position players, OF Mallex Smith and INF Daniel Robertson. ... Cash said he was happy for Beckham that he …

    Tim Beckham made a smashing debut with the Orioles, hitting .394 with six homers and 19 RBIs in August.
  4. From the archives: Account of famed Riggs-King match heightens Tampa mob intrigue

    Tennis

    With the Sept. 29 opening of "Battle of the Sexes" — the movie starring Emma Stone and Steve Carrell about Billie Jean King's landmark 1973 tennis win over Bobby Riggs — we thought there might be renewed interest in this 2013 Peter Jamison story from the Tampa Bay Times.

    Emma Stone as Billie Jean King and Steve Carell as Bobby Riggs in "Battle of the Sexes."  [Melinda Sue Gordon, Fox Searchlight Pictures]
  5. It's not a game, but the names are all the same in this football family

    Footballpreps

    TAMPA — A coach yells across the field into a scrum of blue-and-white clad football bodies at Jefferson High: "Kim Mitchell! Kim Mitchell, come here!"

    These twins are not only identical, but they have almost identical names. Kim Mitchell III, left, and Kim Mitchell IV are  talented football players at Jefferson High with Division I-A college offers. Kim  III wears No. 22 and plays cornerback while Kim IV wears No. 11 and plays safety. (Scott Purks, Special to the Times)