Tampa Bay Lightning star Steven Stamkos appears to believe he will be playing in the conference final.
According to a report from the Tampa Bay Times' Joe Smith, Stamkos was spotted at practice on Friday, and for the first time he wasn't wearing an orange jersey which indicates no-contact. Stamkos spoke to the media after the practice and admitted he's hopeful he will make it back before the end of this series.
"There's a chance," Stamkos said. "That's why I'm putting in the hard work. If there wasn't a chance, I'd have pom poms out and be a cheerleader."
The problem for Stamkos right now is the fact that he continues to remain on blood thinners, and that would pose an increased risk were he to suffer a serious injury, Stamkos admitted that minimizing risks to his health are the primary concern at the moment.
"Obviously you have to make sure there's zero risk when you're going out there playing,"
If Stamkos is hopeful he can return for this series, you would have to believe there's a very good chance of him playing should the Lightning advance to the final.