The long term health of Lightning forward Steven Stamkos has got to be a point of major concern for both the organization and its fans at this point, and the latest update from Lightning head coach Jon Cooper will only add to those concerns.
On Sunday Cooper informed reporters that once again Lightning forward Steven Stamkos would be unavailable as his team heads into the Eastern Conference Final against the New York Islanders. The fact that Stamkos would not be eligible for Game 1 comes as little surprise given that he has been sidelined for some time now, however what did come as more of a surprise was the announcement from Cooper that the Lightning had ruled Stamkos out of the series entirely. That's right, according to the Lightning's head coach himself Stamkos will not participate at any point in the Eastern Conference Final and you now have to ask yourself if he will participate in what remains of the playoffs at any point regardless of how deep the Lightning go in this tournament.
We have very little information to go on regarding Stamkos' injury as nothing has been officially disclosed by the team and in fact we don't even have confirmation regarding whether or not Stamkos has resumed staking. We likely won't be hearing more from the Lightning until at least the Stanley Cup Final and that is assuming they can make it past the Islanders without one of their most potent offensive weapons in the line up.
The Lightning have high expectations in these playoffs and no doubt so did Stamkos who was coming off of a very good season with 29 goals and 37 assists for 66 points in just 57 regular season games