The Tampa Bay Lightning captain has yet to qualify for bubble hockey.
Now his team is one of the last two fighting for the Stanley Cup.
Stamkos scored 66 points (29 goals, 37 assists) in 57 games in the 2019-20 season. In 70 career playoff games, he has scored 23 goals and 30 assists – including 18 points when the Blitz last played in the 2015 Stanley Cup final.
If he can play, he'll give the line-up a much-needed offensive boost, but also the struggling power play of lightning, which has fallen from 23.1 percent efficiency in the regular season to 19.1 percent in the postseason.
He has not played a game since February 25 when he scored an assist and extended his streak to 15 games (12 goals, 10 assists). On March 2, he underwent surgery to repair a muscle injury and was expected to be out for six to eight weeks. While not playing, he was in the bubble and on the ice when the Lightning was presented with the Prince of Wales Trophy as champions of the 2020 Eastern Conference.
"He's still in rehab," said general manager Julien BriseBois before the final began. "We didn't shut him out."
So will he play? Sporting News is following the captain's possible return.
Stanley Cup Final Game 1
Did he skate in the morning? Yes.Has he participated in any warm-up exercises? No.Did he play in the game? No.
Stanley Cup Final Game 2
Did he skate in the morning? Yes.What did Jon Cooper say about pre-game availability when asked about Stamkos? "So if you've been following anything, my press conference, I'm really not going to reveal anything about our lineups. So you have to tune in tonight to find out, and it's probably frustrating to a lot of people, especially if you have social media, but we will Tonight we have our line-up and 20 guys will be in the line-up (that) will give us the best chance to win. "Has he participated in any warm-up exercises? No.Did he play in the game? No.
Stanley Cup Final Game 3
Did he skate in the morning? Indefinite, but probably no. Based on the video provided by the NHL, he was not in any of the recordings.What did Jon Cooper say about pre-game availability when asked about Stamkos? "He's getting closer … he's getting closer." Has he participated in any warm-up exercises? Yes.Did he play in the game? Yes.