SHARE
Round 3
Stanley Cup Final

Lightning captain Stamkos says leg 'much stronger'

Thursday, 09.04.2014 / 8:36 PM / News

NHL.com

Share with your Friends


Lightning captain Stamkos says leg 'much stronger'
Tampa Bay Lightning forward Steven Stamkos said Thursday his injured right leg is much better than it was at the end of last season.

Tampa Bay Lightning forward Steven Stamkos said Thursday his injured right leg is much better than it was at the end of last season.

Stamkos broke his right tibia on Nov. 11 in a game against the Boston Bruins. He returned March 6 to play the final 20 games of the regular season plus four in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Steven Stamkos
Center - TBL
GOALS: 25 | ASST: 15 | PTS: 40
SOG: 124 | +/-: 9
"It feels much stronger," Stamkos told the Lightning website. "Mentally, too, you're in a better state. It's amazing what time and being able to work on it, being able to strengthen it kind of at your own pace and at your own time and how your body reacts. It's amazing week after week how much better it feels and how much closer it's getting to where it was before. I'm excited about that."

The website said Stamkos had a screw removed from his leg three weeks ago, and one remains.

"Sometimes you still have to look back, and it hasn't even been a year yet [since the injury]," Stamkos said. "Usually they say stuff like that takes a full year to where it feels as close, but it never feels exactly the same. But it's way better off than where it was at the end of the year."

Stamkos was named Lightning captain for his first game back from injury, which followed the trade of Martin St. Louis to the New York Rangers. Stamkos finished last season with 25 goals in 37 games, a full-season pace of 55.

"It's nice to kind of have a test run (as captain) last year," Stamkos said. "That's the thing, you don't want to change much. I've been a leader on this team for a while. I've been able to learn from past guys that I played with at various times in my career. We have a great leadership group in here. It's pretty easy coming in and sharing that load with all those guys. You try not to change much and think about it too much."

The Lightning begin training camp Sept. 18.

Quote of the Day

That was something I've been dreaming of, something I've told myself before the third period I was going to do ... It was an amazing feeling. It's hard to describe. I didn't believe it went in at first but when I saw all the reaction and all the fans going crazy and my teammates going crazy, it's just an unbelievable feeling. I didn't know what to do. I didn't know whether to jump or just skate and do a Theo Fleury. I don't think I'm the same caliber player he is so I couldn't do it.

— Flames forward Mikael Backlund on scoring the overtime winner against the Ducks in Gm. 3