Fantasy HockeyJosh Kay

Lightning superstar Steven Stamkos Leaves Monday’s game with apparent Broken Leg

Instant reaction to serious injuries can often lack accuracy in the long run. That being said, it’s safe to say that Tampa Bay Lightning super-star Steven Stamkos looks to be out for quite a while as he sustained an apparent broken leg after a collision with Boston Bruins defender Dougie Hamilton.

*Writers note*, At 3:51 p.m. Via twitter:

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For those who DO NOT wish to watch the injury again (or see it for the first time, because be aware, the injury is quite gross), here is an external link to the injury video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hrsaBcuc68Q .. Again, please, you have been warned, the injury is comparable to the Kevin Ware injury for Louisville in the NCAA tournament.

Injury Impact:

This injury affects many things: Tampa Bay Lightning, the NHL, Fantasy Hockey, and the Olympics. For now, we will hold off on the Olympic impact because we do not have a timetable for the injury, but we here at the Fix pledge to keep you abreast of the situation.

The Tampa Bay Lightning are off to a rip-roaring start at 12-4, leading the Eastern Conference in points with 24. Additionally, the Lightning coming into their game today with Boston, were tied with the Bruins for a +15 goal differential, the best mark in the Conference. This injury will cause a ripple affect throughout their roster, as is expected when your best player (and the second best player in hockey) goes down.

The initial move for Lightning coach Jon Cooper will be to move Valtteri Filppula to the number one center position. Filppula is off to an excellent start for his new team this season, putting up 12 points in just 16 games after struggling last season with the Detroit Red Wings when he scored just 17 points in 41 games. While that mark is fabulous, slightly disconcerting is the fact that Filppula has put just 23 shots on net in 16 games, a pretty poor mark that leaves us with sustainability questions. Whatever the case may be, Filppula is a lock for the first line now with winger Martin St. Louis.

Unfortunately for the Lightning their big problem is a lack of depth at forward. The Bolts came into this game with only 10 forwards because they had been double-shifting Stamkos. Furthermore, scanning the roster will leave an empty feeling in Tampa Bay fans because the lines will now most likely look something like this:

1st line: C- Valtteri Filppula, RW- Martin St. Louis, LW- Teddy Purcell

2nd line: C- Alex Killorn (his natural position actually), RW- Brett Connolly, LW- Ryan Malone

3rd line: C- Tyler Johnson RW- Richard Panik, LW- Ondrej Palat

4th line: C- Nate Thompson, RW- B.J. Crombeen, LW- Pierre Cedric-Labrie

Come Thanksgiving though, the Lightning are likely to get back shrewd defensive-minded center, and above average penalty-killer Tom Pyatt. It’s too early to speculate as to what might happen when he returns, in terms of line combinations, so we’ll leave that alone for now.

Finally, folks mentioning Jonathan Drouin‘s name, forget that Drouin was assigned to his Quebec Major Junior Hockey League team, the Halifax Mooseheads, and is unavailable to be added to the Lightning roster this season, per QMJHL and NHL rules. Depending on the severity of the injury to the 23-year-old Stamkos, the Lightning could make a trade, but again, it’s too early to speculate.

For Fantasy Hockey purposes, Stamkos obviously is a must stash (unless he is out for the season), and all other Lightning players (except Filppula and Purcell), should receive a downgrade if you owned Johnson, Malone or Killorn in a deep league.

We all pray for Steven Stamkos’s quick and healthy recovery. It’s always tragic to see any player seriously injured, let alone a super-star.

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