Why Lightning Fans Shouldn’t Be Concerned with Steven Stamkos’ Reduced Ice Time

June 5th, 2015 by Dave Lozo Leave a reply »

TAMPA, Fla. — They have become the most talked-about 17 minutes in Florida since the inaugural episode of the television show Cops.

Steven Stamkos played 17:17 in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final, as the Tampa Bay Lightning fell to the Chicago Blackhawks 2-1.

The team only scored one goal in the loss, and Stamkos had zero points, which led some to ask him and coach Jon Cooper if 17 measly minutes were enough ice time. After all, Jonathan Toews, Brandon Saad and Patrick Kane all played more than 20 minutes for the Blackhawks in Game 1, which turned in a blink when Teuvo Teravainen and Antoine Vermette scored less than two minutes apart late in the third period.

Of all the reasons the Lightning lost Game 1, Stamkos not playing enough minutes isn’t one of them.

In fact, there’s actually evidence that Stamkos is better when asked to do more with a little bit less.

In the four games this postseason in which Stamkos has played the fewest minutes, he has two goals and eight points; in his 17 other games, he has five goals and nine points.

"So ...

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