Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos went into training camp for the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs having not played a game since February 25. More than 210 days had passed since then, including surgery on an abdominal muscle and the onset of a global pandemic. He had finally started training with his team again, but Stamkos still seemed very reluctant to dress before the end of the Stanley Cup final. To be fair, hardly anyone expected him to do so, but he decided to step in for Game 3 of the series against the Dallas Stars.

On his third shift of the game, Stamkos made a great move and scored his first goal in several months, giving Tampa Bay a 2-0 lead. However, Stamkos' fairy tale quickly turned into a nightmare.

The information above is taken from an interview conducted by journalist Erik Erlendsson. You can only imagine the pain experienced by Stamkos on that play.

“At the entry to the zone, Esa Lindell tried to block my way. I then performed a maneuver to the right to avoid it, but felt that one of my abdominal muscles located very close to my left groin had torn. From that moment I understood that something awful had happened, ”he said.

“To be honest, I knew my season was over. But I also knew that I had the puck on my stick and that I had to keep going, at least until the end of the play. Afterwards, everything is a blank. I just remember the moment Pat Maroon came over to give me a hug. "

As if the physical injury was not enough, there was another major issue Stamkos had to deal with. While in the bubble in Toronto in the second round against the Bruins, Stamkos got a call from his wife. She was 21 weeks into a pregnancy and the baby had sadly passed away.

“I came home and we faced this incredibly difficult ordeal,” said Stamkos.

“It was probably the worst ordeal of my life. I felt that I had to face this situation with my wife. No one can really understand without having experienced something similar. "
OCTOBER 18, 2020  (9H38)