Stanley Cup: Stamkos, Hawks stars struggling to score on NHL’s biggest stage

The Tampa Bay Lightning head home for Game 5, where stars Steven Stamkos and Tyler Johnson will look to climb out of their scoring droughts

Tampa Bay sniper Steven Stamkos has gone dry in the Stanley Cup Final



You could say Steven Stamkos has gone dry at the absolutely wrong time… but that wouldn’t necessarily be true.

Sure, the former 60-goal scorer and reliable sniper hasn’t scored yet in the Stanley Cup Final, four games in. And yes, he insists he’s gone through slumps before, although the evidence doesn’t really back that up – Stamkos has scored 157 goals in 249 games since 2011, an incredible clip in today’s NHL. Plus, the Lightning are doing just fine against the two-time champion Chicago Blackhawks, tied at two games apiece heading back to Florida for tonight’s Game 5.

But it’s still a little unnerving to hardly hear Stamkos’s name called when the red light goes off.

Read: ‘Vasilevskiy ready for Stanley Cup spotlight‘ by Stephen Whyno (via SurreyLeader.com)

“As long as you’re getting the chances, you start worrying when you’re not getting the chances, when you start cheating the game, when you start waiting for bounces,” the 25-year-old said Thursday, well into his first-ever Stanley Cup Final. “It’s tough, you want to help your team. That’s the thing you want to do at this time of the year.

“For me, obviously, the offence is the thing that people expect, and that I expect. Hopefully you just stick with it, and it comes.”

It would be tempting to wonder if the Lightning might have swept by now, if Stamkos was scoring. Or Tyler Johnson for that matter – Tampa’s second-line centre has just one goal in the Final’s first four games, and has cooled off offensively after lighting the earth ablaze with eight goals in the first two rounds.

But Chicago’s stars have been mostly dry, as well. Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane – who carried much of the Blackhawk’s load up-front against the Anaheim Ducks – have combined for just one goal in the series. Toews opened the scoring in Game 4, while Kane – who won the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP in 2013 – has just one assist in the series so far.

Many thought the Lightning/Blackhawks series would be a race to the top of the mountain, with the belt dangling above the cage. Instead, it’s been a mirror matchup between two similarly-built teams, where the forwards have cancelled each other out and the goalies are deciding every period.

Video above by The Canadian Press

VIDEO: Stamkos finished perfect powerplay setup against Rangers

VIDEO: Stamkos catches Hayes with his head down

VIDEO: Stamkos shakes and bakes for breakaway beauty against Canadiens

Just Posted

Greater Victoria enjoys sunny first day of spring

Summer-like temperatures of 21 degrees hit Wednesday for first day of spring

Esquimalt puts freeze on taxes for local businesses

The tax increase for residents sits at 5.51 per cent, averaging to an additional $46

Bitter Saturna land-use dispute highlights legal grey areas

Unhappy Tsawout accuse leadership of cultural destruction

Development replacing Fairfield United Church gets final approval

The new Unity Commons Development will take over the space at 1303 Fairfield Rd.

Saanich forwards student-targeted development to public hearing

Proposed development advertises itself to individuals who want a car-free lifestyle

VIDEO: Can you believe it? This B.C. hill pulls cars backwards up a slope

Sir Isaac Newton had clearly never been to this Vernon anomaly when he discovered gravity

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of March 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: When do you think the next major earthquake will hit Vancouver Island?

According to seismologists, Vancouver Island is overdue for a magnitude 7 earthquake.… Continue reading

Canucks hang on for 7-4 win over Senators

Horvat nets 2 for Vancouver

European, Canadian regulators to do own review of Boeing jet

Air Canada plans to remove the Boeing 737 Max from its schedule at least through July 1

Prime minister defends Liberal budget measures as sales effort gets underway

Conservatives under Andrew Scheer say it’s a spree funded by borrowing against the future

Mayor meets with B.C. health minister on homeless taxi transfers

Two homeless people were discharged from Surrey Memorial and sent to a Chilliwack shelter

B.C. lottery winner being sued by co-workers

They claim he owes them $200,000 each, in a lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver

Teacher reprimanded for conduct towards special needs student

Alan Stephen Berry told vice principal he did not have time to use positive strategies

Most Read