Tampa Bay Lightning star and NHL points co-leader Steven Stamkos was taken off the ice on a stretcher Monday after seriously injuring his right leg against the Boston Bruins. After the game, the Lightning via their Twitter account confirmed the nature and severity of Stamkos' injury, revealing that the 23 year-old broke his right tibia bone and will be out "indefinitely".
Lightning confirms Stamkos has a broken right tibia and is out indefinitely. No mention of surgery.
The injury occurred with 7:11 left in the second period when the two-time Richard Trophy winner slammed into the goalpost of his own net after getting tangled up with Boston defenseman Dougie Hamilton.
The video above shows Stamkos’ injury, and while the play itself isn’t especially graphic, Stamkos’ reaction was immediate and extremely animated, as he writhed on the ice, grabbed his leg and appeared to tell a teammate that his leg was “broken.”
The top pick in the 2008 draft, Stamkos is one of the most liked players in hockey and has been something of an ironman for the Lightning over the years, missing just three games in his first five seasons — all of them coming in his rookie year on planned days off in January as part of a conditioning program.
In Game 7 of the 2011 Eastern Conference Finals against the same Bruins, Stamkos solidified his status as a true NHL tough guy after he appeared to be seriously hurt when he took a slap shot to the face, only to return to the ice later in the period with a cage on his helmet.
Unfortunately, even the toughest players can withstand only so much pain, and if early reports of a broken tibia are true, we likely won’t be seeing Stamkos back on the ice any time soon.
Boston (11-5-1) would go on to win Monday’s game 3-0 after Stamkos’ injury to move within one point of the surprising Lightning (12-5) for first place in the Eastern Conference.