TAMPA — From the second he pulled on a Bruins sweater at last June’s draft, Tyler Seguin has been compared to Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos.
Whenever he’s been asked about the comparison, Stamkos has been gracious enough to say he’s flattered that anyone, including Seguin, would be deemed as “the next Stamkos.”
So now that Seguin, who scored just 11 goals in 74 regular-season games as a rookie, has emerged as a scoring star with three goals in two games of the Eastern Conference Final between Boston and Tampa Bay, the Lightning sniper must be even more flattered.
“Well, it’s good for him. I mean he got an opportunity and he’s risen to the occasion and on the biggest stage of his career so far – the Eastern Conference Final,” said Stamkos after his team’s morning skate at the St. Pete Times Forum in preparation for tonight’s Game 3. “So he’s a good player for them. Everyone knew what type of player he was. He’s been give the opportunity now. So he’s obviously someone we’ve got to try to stop. He’s playing really well and been their top player.”
Stamkos didn’t want to declare which game of his rookie season in 2008-09 was his breakout game on par with Seguin’s two-goal, two-assist performance in Game 2, Tampa’s young star brought up the hat trick he scored against Chicago Feb. 17 of that season as a turning point.
“I don’t know if I remember specifically. It could’ve been the hat trick my first year. You gain a lot of confidence, momentum. We’ve got to try to slow him down,” said Stamkos.