The Hockey News player of the week for the period of Feb. 7-14, 2010, is Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos.
The 20-year-old, first overall pick in 2008 was left off Canada’s Olympic team, but enters the break as the hottest player in the league with nine points in his past four games. Following a one-goal, two-point night against Vancouver, Stamkos posted his sixth three-point game of the season with three assists in a 5-4 loss to the Boston Bruins.
Even though the Lightning also lost the next two games, entering the break on a three-game losing streak, Stamkos had a goal and an assist in both of the final two games against the Islanders and Rangers. Only once on the week did Stamkos see less than 20:00 of ice time in a game, seeing 19:10 against the Rangers.
In his second season in the league, Stamkos has 35 goals and 35 assists for 70 points in 61 games as the NHL settles down for the two-week Olympic break. Stamkos is second on his team in scoring, one point behind Martin St-Louis, while the Lightning sit with a 26-24-11 record, one point behind Montreal for the eighth and final playoff position in the Eastern Conference.