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Stamkos: Bolts have ‘the quietest 8-3 record in the league’

Oct 28, 2013, 3:10 PM EDT

Stamkos2 Getty Images

Can a first-place team fly under the radar?

According to Steve Stamkos — who’s Tampa Bay Lightning sit atop the Atlantic Division — the answer is yes.

And what’s more, he prefers being overlooked.

“We probably have the quietest 8-3 record in the league and we like it that way,” Stamkos told the Lightning website on Monday, the same day he was named the NHL’s first star of the week.

“You look at our schedule and we’ve played some pretty tough teams.”

Stamkos, second in NHL scoring to Sidney Crosby, has a point. The Lightning’s resume boasts some signature wins, including a pair over defending Stanley Cup champs Chicago (one coming at the United Center, no less) and a 5-1 drubbing of the 2012 champs, Los Angeles.

What’s got the Bolts humming? After a frustrating ’13 campaign in which little went right, things have really fallen into place.

The biggest development — and perhaps most important — has come in goal, where Ben Bishop nixed any talk of a timeshare with Anders Lindback by taking the No. 1 gig and running with it. Bishop’s posted a sparking 7-1-0 record with a 2.47 GAA and .914 save percentage, and is just four wins shy of his total for all of last season.

The other big development? An influx of AHLers groomed under current head coach Jon Cooper.

Radko Gudas, Alex Killorn, Tyler Johnson, Richard Panik and Ondrej Palat — all members of the Norfolk team that won the Calder Cup with Cooper in 2012 — have enjoyed solid starts to the year. Gudas is a physical presence, leading the team in PIM (53) while notching four points in 11 games, averaging 19:09 TOI.

Killorn has seven points, Johnson six, Palat and Panik five — and all have played at least 10 games. Killorn has been especially impressive, averaging nearly 17 minutes a night.

Of course, we’d be remiss in discussing Tampa’s success without mentioning the captain, Martin St. Louis. The reigning Art Ross winner has been as good as ever, scoring 7G-7A in his first 11 games while averaging a whopping 21:05 a night. That average leads all Bolts forwards and puts the 38-year-old 13th among NHL forwards.

  1. letsgolightning - Oct 28, 2013 at 3:26 PM

    No thanks to those pesky Bruins. But honestly, a better start than I could have hoped for 11 games in.

    • lightning69 - Oct 28, 2013 at 7:09 PM

      Game 1 against Boston was a good battle, they just capitalized on a couple of mistakes.

      Game 2 vs Boston the whole team reverted to past bad form like mid 2012.

      Yzerman focused on rebuilding the AHL club to keep Tampa competitive for years to come.
      Playing Cooper’s 2way game plan takes pressure off goaltending but Bishop has stepped up to make a big case for Yzerman looking brilliant trading Conacher for a true #1. Bish stole that game from the Hawks at United Center. We even spotted them a goal late in Tampa…SMH!

      Why is everyone still ripping Tampa Bay Hockey? We’ve got awesome Beaches during the day and a winning club at night in a great renovated arena. We regularly sellout 19,026 and even off nights 17k.

      You all should visit some time, not a bad seat in the house!

      Go Bolts!

  2. sunderlanding - Oct 28, 2013 at 3:33 PM

    Quietest in the league. Sure, because no one cares about the Tampa Bay Lightning.

    • pfhockey - Oct 28, 2013 at 3:58 PM

      You’ve just proven how powerful media is.

      • ibieiniid - Oct 28, 2013 at 4:16 PM

        or how weak his mind is.

      • sunderlanding - Oct 29, 2013 at 2:15 PM

        Did anyone need the proof?

  3. tdrusher225 - Oct 28, 2013 at 4:02 PM

    He’s not wrong. I didn’t even know they had a winning record until a couple days ago.

    • withseidelinn - Oct 28, 2013 at 4:14 PM

      Completely snuck up on first place. Impressive.

  4. stuuuu86 - Oct 28, 2013 at 4:10 PM

    We have the quietest 9-3 record in the league.

    Sincerely,

    Anaheim Ducks

    • ibieiniid - Oct 28, 2013 at 4:17 PM

      I’m proud of this kid Andersen. my fav player in Norfolk, along with DSP, carrying it into the NHL with a .944 S% in 3 games. god damn Anaheim is deep in goal.

  5. earpaniac - Oct 28, 2013 at 4:41 PM

    He’s right, but some of that want to see if they can sustain their current level of play.

  6. themagicfanguy - Oct 28, 2013 at 5:06 PM

    St.Louis is a machine.

  7. giantsdevilsmetsknicks - Oct 28, 2013 at 6:22 PM

    Great offense and good goal tending finally. Hope Tampa the best.

  8. acieu - Oct 28, 2013 at 7:18 PM

    It is ashamed that the Capitals didn’t hire Jon Cooper as they would have had the coach of the future. This man has won every place he has coached.

  9. gotampabay52 - Oct 28, 2013 at 8:52 PM

    Tampa will shock you all

  10. capsfan19 - Oct 28, 2013 at 9:02 PM

    This team’s speed is nuts! And yea bishop! Good work dude!

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