Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 11/12/13 at 07:46 PM ET
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
... Now, he’s gone, with 14 goals (riding a six-game scoring streak), with 23 points–a guy who figured in44 percent of his team’s goals. Tampa talked a good game about other guys stepping up, but Marty St. Louis, bless his soul, is 38. He is more of a passer than a shooter. Val Filppula, who played in Pavel Datsyuk’s shadow in Detroit, is now the default No. 1 centre there. Little Ryan Johnson moves up to No. 2. Good players but Stamkos is a great player, a great player who was hurt on a back-checking mission against Boston defenceman Dougie Hamilton–an awful visual on YouTube.
Stamkos’s injury likely opens the doors wide-open for Olympic team berths. Canada has a couple of natural RWs in St. Louis and Corey Perry who will probably be in Sochi but that’s it. Centres were moving over. Maybe centre/winger Claude Giroux in Philly pops back into the Olympic picture now, same with the versatile Patrick Sharp, who’s always under the radar. Some guys who didn’t get summer orientation invites like Patty Marleau and Jamie Benn and Joffrey Lupul might now get a longer look.
There’s only one Stamkos though and today he’s sitting in a hospital bed with a plate or a rod and screws in his broken leg. It’s a crying shame, for him, and all hockey fans.
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