BOSTON -- It was a gruesome scene during the Veterans Day matinee at TD Garden when it appeared Tampa Bay Lightning superstar Steven Stamkos suffered a broken tibia and needed to be transported off the ice on a stretcher.
The play took place 12:49 into the second period as Stamkos hustled on the backcheck and slid feet-first into the net after colliding with Bruins defenseman Dougie Hamilton in front of the Tampa net. Stamkos’ right leg made hard contact with the goalpost and appeared to snap back.
"I was just trying to drive the net," said Hamilton. "He was too fast for me, so he caught me. He fell and hit the post pretty hard. Sad to see it."
Stamkos immediately tried to get up but then dropped to the ice in obvious pain as he tried to stand. He stayed down on the ice, and his lower right leg was mobilized as they put him on a stretcher and transported him to a local hospital via ambulance.
Those kinds of injuries are always unfortunate, but it goes doubly so when it’s the NHL’s leading scorer, one of the game’s greatest ambassadors, and one of the expected driving forces on this winter’s Team Canada at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. There were no immediate updates on Stamkos' condition, but every indication is that he suffered a very serious injury given the circumstances during and after his impact with the post.
Stamkos had a couple of shots on net and had won 6-of-8 face-offs in 12:02 of ice time before leaving the game.
"A player like that is who people pay to watch," said Bruins coach Claude Julien. "You hate to see him go down, and just hope it's not too serious."