The Tampa Bay Lightning’s outlook for the 2013-2014 season changed dramatically on Monday afternoon in Boston as they saw their leading goal scorer go down with an awful leg injury. The team announced Tuesday that winger Steven Stamkos had successful surgery stabilizing a fracture in his right tibia, with no prospective timetable for a return to the ice.
Head coach Jon Cooper told WDAE on Thursday morning that the team experienced a “day of a pity party” but bounced back the next day looking forward to the challenge of playing without their 23 year old superstar. As for Stamkos’ possible return, Cooper is extremely optimistic about Stamkos returning this season.
“It was sickening to see, and it was even more sickening the x-ray of what really happened” said Cooper. “If you’re going to roll the dice on this happening to anybody, it happened to a guy that will find his way back,”
Cooper added “The one thing aside from his character is youth. He’s only 23, he’s young and again (the injury) is something somebody can come back from. I can’t sit here and dictate when exactly he’s going to come back, but I’ll be really surprised if he doesn’t.”
He went on to say he is "fully confident" Stamkos will be back with "multiple" games left in the season.
Here's the full conversation with Cooper: