If Steven Stamkos were a Maple Leaf, this wouldn’t be happening.
In 9 games this season, Stamkos has a stat line of 8 goals and 18 points. The next closest player is Ryan Getzlaf with 13 points in 10 games.
Yet somehow, if we polled the intelligent portion of the hockey universe today, Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin would be the runaway favourites in a conversation about the best forwards in the game right now.
Yes, the season is young. And yes, Crosby and Ovechkin are off to “slower” starts than usual. But Stamkos is out-producing them nonetheless (by a sizable margin).
To put it into perspective, Leaf Nation is buzzing about Kessel’s 7 goals in the first 8 games of the season. Some say he is a legitimate contender for the Rocket. The more mentally unstable ones have even gone as far as to suggest the possibility of Kessel winning the Hart.
Can you imagine what would happen if Kessel had Stamkos’ stat line?
Let me be clear. I am not here saying that Stamkos is better than Crosby and Ovechkin. I am simply saying that Stamkos deserves to be in the conversation.