Mar 19, 2014, 3:31 PM EDT
The return from a broken leg.
And Stamkos is hoping the craziness, not to mention the adversity, is in the past.
“We struggled a little bit out of the gate,” he said of his team’s performance after the Olympics, “but I think we’ve found our groove now. It’s been fun. This group of guys that we have is something that I think can be special this year. We’re believing in each other and everyone is stepping up.”
Indeed, Tampa Bay has won three straight after its post-break slump, lifting itself out of that wild-card zone that’s going to come with a daunting first-round matchup against either Boston or Pittsburgh. If the playoffs started today, the Lightning would meet the Canadiens.
As you can see below, a win over the Leafs would go a long way toward staying out of the wild-card zone for the rest of the season. A regulation loss, however, and it’s right back in it.
Related: Playoff bubble watch — Leafs edition
- Brandon Saad brings championship experience to Blue Jackets 2
- Sharks sign Joel Ward to three-year deal 12
- Sabres lock up O’Reilly through 2022-23 53
- Locked in: Columbus signs Saad to six-year, $36M deal 25
- Oilers sign McDavid to entry-level contract 19
- ‘Hawks would like to re-sign Oduya, but still working through ‘financial hurdles’ 16
- Trade: Caps acquire Oshie from Blues for Brouwer, Copley and draft pick 73
- Voynov takes plea, gets 90 days in jail plus probation 60
- Curtains on Broadway: Martin St. Louis calls it a career 36
- Discuss: Where’s the best fit for Alex Semin? 23
- Blockbuster: Kessel traded to the Penguins (131)
- Trade: Flyers send Rinaldo to Bruins for 2017 third-rounder (105)
- Trade: Jackets land Saad; Anisimov and Dano headed to Chicago (93)
- Bypassing a buyout? Kings terminate Richards’ contract for ‘material breach’ (90)
- Trade: Flames land Dougie Hamilton for package of picks (75)