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. Video: Filppula, Stamkos score two big goals for Bolts

    May 24, 2015, 9:36 PM EDT

    filppulagetty Getty Images

    The Lightning are 7-0 when scoring the first goal in the playoffs.

  2. Blackhawks’ Bickell says wear-and-tear goes both ways

    May 24, 2015, 9:15 PM EDT

    Anaheim Ducks v Chicago Blackhawks - Game Three Getty Images

    Blocking shots can be a grind, too, after all.

  3. Report: Blues will stick with Hitchcock ‘barring anything dramatic’

    May 24, 2015, 7:37 PM EDT

    Chicago Blackhawks v St Louis Blues Getty Images

    No clarification on what would qualify as “dramatic.”

  4. Franson on free agency: ‘I’m hopeful that Toronto’s in the mix’

    May 24, 2015, 4:45 PM EDT

    cody franson

    Things weren’t a “perfect fit” for the blue liner in Nashville.

  5. Report: Oilers’ Nelson given permission to explore other opportunities

    May 24, 2015, 3:45 PM EDT

    Todd Nelson Todd Nelson

    He coached Edmonton to a 17-25-9 record after Dallas Eakins was fired in December.

  6. Report: Dubnyk, Wild to begin contract talks this week

    May 24, 2015, 1:00 PM EDT

    Minnesota Wild v Chicago Blackhawks - Game Two Getty Images

    He’s set to become an unrestricted free agent in July.

  7. Bolts’ Carle available for Game 5

    May 24, 2015, 12:30 PM EDT

    Matt Carle Getty Images

    He missed Game 4 due to an undisclosed injury.

  8. Report: Bylsma to meet with Sabres this week

    May 24, 2015, 10:46 AM EDT

    Dan Bylsma Dan Bylsma

    He has not coached since being fired by the Penguins last June.

  9. Pens looking to acquire a first round pick

    May 24, 2015, 9:43 AM EDT

    2014 NHL Draft - Round 2-7 2014 NHL Draft - Round 2-7

    GM Jim Rutherford has already begun talking with teams, which have multiple selections in the Top 30.

Featured video

Babcock has his work cut out in Toronto
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. F. Andersen (1513)
  2. S. Crosby (1404)
  3. M. Carle (1359)
  4. N. Horton (1353)
  5. K. Versteeg (1297)