Steven Stamkos (82 GP, 45 Goals, 53 Assists, 98 Points)
End of the Year Awards
• ‘The Comeback Kid’ Award for returning to form and posting a career-best in overall points.
• Powerplay abilities
• Ability to shoot the puck
• Mental Strength
Homework For the Offseason
• Continue momentum from last season
• Learn from mistakes of postseason
After tearing his meniscus during the 2016-17 season, few thought that Stamkos would be able to return to the form he once possessed. In the 2011-12 season, he became the twentieth player to record 60 goals in a season, an incredibly rare feat in the NHL. In later seasons, injuries would plague the Lightning captain, never allowing him to reach his full potential.
However, Stamkos managed to reinvent his game during the 2018-19 season. Once an outright shooter, he has now become one of the Lightning’s primary playmakers. In 82 games, he amassed a total of 45 goals and 53 assists for a career-high 98 points.
During the regular season, Stamkos was a force to be reckoned with on the power play. He was responsible for 40 of the Lightning’s power play points – 19 of which were goals. When paired with the offensive ability of teammate Nikita Kucherov it is no wonder as to why the team was so dominant within this element.
Overall the 2018-19 regular season saw a return to the upper echelons of current NHL talent for Stamkos, which is a welcome return for many across the league. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the playoffs.
A well-known narrative once again plagued the Lightning captain – in that he struggled to find his footing within the playoffs. The team as a whole could not find the same form as the regular season, leading to a first round exit at the hands of the Columbus Blue Jackets. In four games, Stamkos had one goal and one assist and ended up with a plus-minus (+/-) of minus-8.
Many question whether Stamkos will be able to eventually lead his team to a Stanley Cup win, and whilst his past track record does significantly hinder him, a win in the near future is not out of the question.
Similarly, one must not wholly focus on the disappointing playoff performance when grading Stamkos’ overall season. His significant return to form once again cemented him amongst the best players in the league.
80 GP, 30 Goals, 56 Assists, 86 Points
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