Stamkos Scores 35th

Standard Spin: Steve Stamkos scored his league-leading 35th goal of the season Tuesday, the lone Lightning tally in a 3-1 loss to the Kings.  His total represents 24% of Tampa's offense, and he's now five goals clear of second place Phil Kessel.  

With numbers like that he's established himself as the NHL's premier scorer, and he appears to be a virtual lock to lead the league at season's end.  But before we engrave the Richard Trophy, don't forget Stamkos was also pulling away from the pack at this point last year.  He cracked the 40 goal mark in 54 games, but he scored only five more the rest of the way, finishing the season with 45.  

We're by no means saying we expect Stamkos to implode again, it's more just a reminder of his history.  He's a year older and a year wiser, and we fully expect him to hit the 50-goal plateau this time and surpass his career high of 51... knock on wood.  (2/8/12)