Unfortunately for the Lightning, they lost Stamkos to a severe injury on Monday against the Bruins.
Stamkos was backchecking hard in the second period and had a brutal collision with the goalpost. After the collision he tried to get up and fell right back down, clearly in a ton of pain. It didn't take long for the stretcher to come out to get him off the ice while his leg was immobilized.
He was taken to the hospital and later on Monday the Lightning announced that Stamkos suffered a broken tibia.
Steven Stamkos suffered a broken right tibia during this afternoon's game at Boston. He is out indefinitely.— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) November 11, 2013
The Lightning later announced that Stamkos will undergo surgery in Boston on Tuesday. Typically a recovery from an injury like this will be 4-6 months.
"At this point Steven will be out indefinitely," GM Steve 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."
"It's tough to lose a guy like that," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "We'll see what we're made of. You talk about a test, this is a test."
It didn't look good in the least and the diagnosis isn't surprising. It was a complete accident and something that can happen at any time to any player which makes it all the more unfortunate. It was ugly so we won't embed a GIF but if you want to see it, you can click here. Just be warned if you're a little squeemish, it might not be easy to watch; legs don't bend that way. The injury has drawn a few comparisons to the infamous Joe Theismann incident already.
This is a brutal loss for the Lighting and the NHL as a whole. Stamkos came into Monday as the co-league leader in goals (14) and points (23), a true superstar on a team that has been excellent hockey to start the season. If he's going to be out for a long time -- and it sounds like he will be -- it's also potentially awful news for Canada too as Stamkos is a clear favorite to make the Olympic team.
Just a pretty devastating injury all around. At least it didn't prevent Stamkos from tweeting this on Monday evening.
Thanks to all my family, friends, and fans for all the well wishes! I will be back as soon as possible !!— steven stamkos (@RealStamkos91) November 11, 2013
Watching games from the press box will be something new for Stamkos. He missed three games as a rookie as a healthy scratch but in the four-plus seasons since he has not missed a single game.