Tampa has lost five of the past six games, dropping to third in the Atlantic Division, and Stamkos voiced his displeasure with how his team is performing after they gave up a third period lead in a loss to the Dallas Stars Thursday.
“We played like a fragile team that’s scared to lose and not hungry to close out a game or hungry to win a game,” said Stamkos, who registered his 59th career two-goal game. “We can’t let that fear of losing creep in at this time of year. There’s almost that feeling where we just want to get to the playoffs here but there’s still a lot of hockey left.”
While the team isn’t in danger of missing the playoffs, their recent play isn’t encouraging for anyone hoping or expecting them to repeat what they did last season by advancing to another Stanley Cup final.
“Eleven games left [in the regular season]. Got to start winning or we won’t play much longer,” Lightning head coach Jon Cooper added.
Stamkos, a pending unrestricted free agent, has vented his frustration publicly several times this week.
After Tampa lost 4-1 to the last place Toronto Maple Leafs Tuesday, a disappointed Stamkos had this to say.
The Lightning will have a chance to get back to their winning ways Saturday when they visit the Arizona Coyotes.