3 things we learned in the NHL: Stamkos reaches 700-point plateau


Tampa Bay Lightning centre Steven Stamkos (91). (Chris O'Meara/AP)

Steven Stamkos accomplished a milestone no one else from his draft class has, the Kings kept struggling to put pucks in the back of the net and Sidney Crosby showed off some never-before-seen hops.

Here are three things we learned in the NHL on Monday.

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Goal-scoring Stamkos is alive and well

Steven Stamkos may have gotten off to a slower start than he’s accustomed with two goals in the season’s opening 11 games and six in Tampa Bay’s first 21. But if there’s one thing to note about elite goal scorers, it’s that they fire home pucks in bunches.

With a hat-trick in his team’s win over the New York Rangers, Stamkos has now netted nine goals in his past 11 contests, re-establishing himself as one of the Lightning’s premier snipers along the way.

Stamkos’ second of the night also gave the former No. 1 overall selection his 700th career point.

In earning 700 points, Stamkos became the only player from the 2008 draft to reach that point total. Given the ’08 draft class was top-heavy on defencemen — with names like Drew Doughty, Erik Karlsson and Alex Pietrangelo selected shortly after the Markham, Ont., native — it shouldn’t shock anyone Stamkos has more than an 150-point cushion over the second-highest point producer from that draft class (Karlsson).

Stamkos also became the third Lightning in franchise history to reach the 700-point mark, joining Tampa Bay greats Martin St. Louis (953 points) and Vincent Lecavalier (874 points).

The Lighting were already enough of a handful offensively, but with their centreman starting to heat up, coupled with Louis Domingue dominating in the crease in Andrei Vasilevskiy‘s absence, this team is truly becoming an unstoppable force.

Did I mention this group has now won seven straight games following their 6-3 win?

Kings’ offence is a rough sight

It’s common knowledge a team that can’t score goals in the National Hockey League is going to struggle making much noise in the standings.

That’s the predicament the Los Angeles Kings find themselves dealing with on a regular basis in what’s been a bleak run for the organization.

With another underwhelming loss, this time a 3-1 defeat at the hands of the Detroit Red Wings, the Kings recorded their 10th game this season scoring just one goal. To put the team’s struggles into further context, Los Angeles had the same number of one-goal outputs (10) throughout the entirety of the 2017-18 campaign. It’s too bad for L.A. that it has reached the same total only 31 games into what has already been a forgettable season.

The Kings sit dead-last in the league with a mere 67 goals scored collectively. No surprise, then, that the team sits at the bottom of the Pacific Division and ranks as one of the league’s worst outfits.

Crosby isn’t just a great point producer

Most of the attention prior to puck-drop between the Penguins and Islanders was on how Sidney Crosby seems to dominate against New York any time he faces them.

Crosby entered the contest with 113 career points in 66 career games against the Isles, which ranks as the highest point total he has against any NHL team. The Islanders are also the only team Crosby has recorded triple-digit point totals against.

Given his eye-popping 1.7 points per game average against New York, the Cole Harbour, N.S., native was surely itching to produce any way he could on this night. He may have had some extra adrenaline flowing as a result, too, as this impressive in-game hops suggests:

Yes, Crosby could have very well had a messy collision with a teammate if not for his well-timed jump, but the emphatic kick-back during the hop is what leads me to believe ‘The Kid’ was even more motivated than usual.

How could you not have some extra pep in your step when you dominate a team to the degree Crosby does when facing the Islanders?

Despite all of this, No. 87 failed to pad his impressive resume against New York. His team did come away with a 2-1 shootout victory, though, so Crosby likely didn’t mind failing to find the scoresheet on this rare occasion.


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