EDMONTON | “I hope the next time we see him on the ice it will be for the presentation of the Stanley Cup.”
This is how Jon Cooper announced that Steven Stamkos' playoffs were officially over.
The Lightning coach and his captain came to this conclusion Sunday morning, a dozen hours after the Florida team's setback in the second overtime against the Dallas Stars.
“There's only a game or two left in the series. Stammer has done everything in his power to get back to the game. He has succeeded, but unfortunately he cannot do more, ”said Cooper, refusing to go into details of the injury that has plagued number 91 since. phase 2 of the return to play protocol (mid-July).
“The situation will certainly be revealed at the end of the series” he added.
Respect and inspiration
What Stamkos was able to do was five appearances on the ice in the first period of the third game of the final. Which was enough to score the Lightning's second goal in a 5-2 win.
“To be honest, I didn't even think he was going to play in the playoffs. Besides, no one thought so, said the Lightning coach. Yet he managed to give us brilliant hockey for 2 mins 47s. A great story. He scored a big goal. ”
Even on the sidelines, the Ontarian remains an inspiration to his teammates. How could they have allowed themselves to ease off when they saw him redouble his efforts in the hope of making a comeback?
On TV, we see him constantly around the team, whether in the corridor leading to the locker room or even inside the locker room.
His mere presence on the bench, for the remainder of the third game, injected a good dose of energy into his comrades in arms.
Moreover, they had absolutely insisted that they join them on the ice of Rogers Place before lifting the Prince of Wales trophy, given to the champion team of the Eastern Association. Proof of all the respect they have for him.