I was one of those people at the TD Garden who saw it happen. Steven Stamkos got tied up with Dougie Hamilton and went into the crease at an angle that was bound to do damage. It did. His right leg bent an just an impossible angle, and my first statement to the people next to me was “Holy hell, that’s broken.” I’m not a M.D., but I’ve seen my fair share of broken bones in my previous careers. To Stamkos’ credit and his incredible fortitude, he attempted to get up and skate. His leg just couldn’t support him and he went back down to the ice. It was wrenching watching a player of this caliber pound the ice in anger, pain, and frustration.
Tampa Bay Lightning Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman announced on the Lightning’s official website that not only was Stamkos’ leg broken, but it would require surgery to accurately repair.
“At this point Steven will be out indefinitely,” Yzerman said. “The medical staff in Boston, in consultation with our team physicians, has made the decision to surgically repair the injury. The procedure is expected to take place tomorrow morning. The biggest concern for me, and the rest of the Lightning, is that decisions are made in Steven’s best long-term interest, and we feel this is the appropriate course of action.”
Steven Stamkos’ injury starts a domino effect for hockey. It’s not that the Lightning is a one-trick pony with Stamkos, but they are sorely going to miss his production, his scoring, and his energy and drive in the locker room. A damaged Tampa Bay squad throws the Atlantic Division into a little more chaos (where Boston can only be a beneficiary.) This is also a blow for Team Canada where Stamkos was a practical shoo-in for a slot on the Sochi Olympic team. It’s all the more tragic that he was the league leader in goals(14) and points(23) when the game began.
Here was my opinion of Stamkos on Twitter:
Lightning fans. We stand with you. Stamkos is one of those “face of the game” players. #PrayForStamkos
— Andrew E Thompson (@Godwentwhoops) November 11, 2013
He is one of those face of the game players. He is also one of those players where practically every NHL player and member of the various team’s fan bases have nothing bad to say about him. He’s an amazing three zone, two way player. He’s a magnificent scorer. He’s loved by his fans and teammates and given a healthy dose of respect by his opponents. The standing ovation from the TD Garden crowd should speak volumes of Bruins Nations’ respect for this man. We can only hope his recovery is quick and free of complications.