10.30.2008

Something just "clicked"



Steven Stamkos apparently decided the best time to play amazingly is when your NHL season is at the brink of dissipating.

In the last of Stamkos's 9 games to prove himself ready for the NHL, he scored two goals against the Buffalo Sabres to lead the team to a 5-2 win.

The first goal was originally inconclusive, but was credited to Stamkos when scorers determined that he re-directed the puck into the net off of Vincent Lecavalier's slap shot. However, his second goal was without a doubt his. Taking a smart pass from Adam Hall on a 2-on-2 break into the Sabres zone, Stamkos slapped the puck past Ryan Miller for the second goal of his young NHL career.

Now, without question, the Lightning are going to keep the young forward up with the big team. He didn't impress during his first 7 games, although that was largely attributed to lack of ice time given to Stamkos by coach Barry Melrose. However, you don't send a player back to juniors after he scores 2 goals in a game, no matter how much he would learn with more seasoning.

The interesting question will be whether or not Stamkos can keep this kind of play up, and whether or not he'll get the ice time he needs in order to do so.

For now, we'll see if Stamkos can wrestle back his "Calder lock" title back from the likes of Kyle Turris, Fabian Brunnstrom, and Derick Brassard.