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
- Lightning ‘answer the challenge’ in Game 7 to reach Stanley Cup Final 2
- Vigneault: McDonagh was playing with a broken foot 12
- Bolts strike Stanley Cup Final berth thanks to Game 7 win over Rangers 63
- The Ducks got Kesler for a game like Saturday’s 31
- Duchene slams Russian players for storming off after Canada’s 2015 WHC win 54
- DeBoer predicts ‘big bounce-back’ in San Jose 13
- Sabres name Bylsma head coach 46
- Lundqvist on Game 7: ‘You’re definitely nervous, but it comes down to teamwork’ 18
- Report: Bylsma to Sabres being held up by compensation issue 56
- Stanley Cup Final to begin June 3 10
- Kesler on wearing down Chicago: ‘No human can withstand that many hits’ (77)
- Bolts strike Stanley Cup Final berth thanks to Game 7 win over Rangers (67)
- From healthy scratch to hero: Vermette scores OT winner for Blackhawks (66)
- Report: Bylsma to Sabres being held up by compensation issue (56)
- On Kreider, and trying ‘to turn the other cheek’ (54)