Steven Stamkos back in Tampa.


Nov 11, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning center

Steven Stamkos

(91) tries to control the puck away from Boston Bruins center

David Krejci

(46) during the second period at TD Banknorth Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

As hockey fans, we all have those players that illicit a Pavlovian response. For a lot of Bruins fans, you can’t think Milan Lucic without hearing “LOOCH!” in your head. The same thing with Tuukka Rask. Those players generate positive thoughts because they are on your team. In the same regard, we also have players that we really can’t stand. For example, everytime I see PK Subban I think about putting a springboard in the sin bin so the refs can really judge some quality dives.  A lot of us could launch a profanity filled rant on the subject of Matt Cooke.

There also players that you just have to respect. Their playing style, respect for the game and the fans, and their attitude garner nothing but positive responses. Bobby Orr is one of those examples, no matter what team you love there are only a handful of people that have anything bad to say about that man. Steven Stamkos is also one of those players.

I saw Stamkos go down at the TD Garden. It was one of those moments where both teams went silent. The leagues’ leading scorer was prone on the ice in terrible pain, and fans of both teams rose to give that man a standing ovation when he was taken off this ice. Stamkos is a solid, team-minded player. (The kind of player any team would love to have as one of their leaders.) He’s always been a class act with fans and other players, and his voice carries weight within the NHL fraternity.

Stamkos was released from the hospital after his successful surgery to repair a broken bone sustained with his collision with the post. Once again, Stamkos revealed his nature with a very nice tweet out to the hospital. I’m a Bruins fan, and I love my team, but he’s one of those players that I like to watch despite the color of their sweater. I hope we get to see this man back on the ice very soon.