Skip to content

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.

Latest Posts
  1. Tank defense: NHL changes up Draft Lottery format

    Aug 20, 2014, 3:59 PM EDT

    Bill Daly lottery Getty Images

    It’s not as good to be the worst anymore.

  2. Under Pressure: Steve Mason

    Aug 20, 2014, 1:55 PM EDT

    stevemasongetty Getty Images

    How will he handle the weight of expectation?

  3. After ‘humbling summer,’ Del Zotto aims to bolster Flyers’ D

    Aug 20, 2014, 12:23 PM EDT

    Michael Del Zotto Getty Images

    “I’m confident in myself and confident I can get back to where I used to be.”

  4. Rangers win Kevin Hayes sweepstakes

    Aug 20, 2014, 11:18 AM EDT

    Kevin Hayes Getty Images

    He’ll be reunited with former Boston College teammate Chris Kreider in New York.

  5. Looking to make the leap: Shayne Gostisbehere

    Aug 20, 2014, 11:05 AM EDT

    Shayne Gostisbehere Getty Images

    The college star could push to make Philly’s blue line right away.

  6. NHL concussion lawsuits to be consolidated

    Aug 20, 2014, 10:01 AM EDT

    Gary Bettman, Bill Daly AP

    And assigned to a U.S. District Judge in Minnesota.

  7. It’s Philadelphia Flyers Day at PHT

    Aug 20, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

    Jakub Voracek,  Vincent Lecavalier , Claude Giroux AP

    They hope to improve on their first round loss to the Rangers.

  8. Sens’ Karlsson will accept captaincy if offered

    Aug 19, 2014, 8:45 PM EDT

    Erik Karlsson AP

    He’s not going out of his way for it, however.

  9. Fanspeak: Messier voted greatest Ranger in franchise history

    Aug 19, 2014, 7:30 PM EDT

    Mark Messier Getty Images

    You earn a lot of votes winning a Stanley Cup.

  10. Under pressure: Rick Nash

    Aug 19, 2014, 6:30 PM EDT

    Rick Nash Getty Images

    He had a down season and worse playoffs last year.

  11. Looking to make the leap: J.T. Miller

    Aug 19, 2014, 4:45 PM EDT

    JT MIller

    Can the former 15th overall pick establish himself as a full-time NHLer?

  12. Senators sign MacArthur to five-year, $23.25 million extension

    Aug 19, 2014, 4:44 PM EDT

    Clarke MacArthur Getty Images

    He was second on the team in goals last season.

  13. Numbers game: Leafs hire assistant to GM, analytics team

    Aug 19, 2014, 3:40 PM EDT

    Brendan Shanahan; Tim Leiweke; Dave Nonis AP

    Capology and Corsi gone wild in Toronto.

  14. NHL announces 2014 preseason schedule

    Aug 19, 2014, 2:37 PM EDT

    NHL logo

    It’s 105 games long and — perhaps most importantly — starts in just 33 days.

Top 10 NHL Player Searches