Stamkos urges more from Lightning in final preseason games

by
Reinhold Matay / USA Today Sports

Finally healthy again and eager to contribute, Tampa Bay Lightning captain Steven Stamkos wants to see more from his team to close out the preseason.

Though exhibition records generally don't serve as an accurate barometer of what's to come, the Lightning are currently 2-4 after Tuesday's loss to the Panthers. With such high expectations for 2017-18, Stamkos doesn't want Tampa Bay to rest on its laurels heading into October.

"There's urgency," Stamkos told Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times. "Especially when coming off the year we didn't make the playoffs. We're not sitting here thinking, 'OK, we'll just flip the switch when the season starts.' We need to get better. We need to come together."

Stamkos has looked strong in his return from a torn meniscus suffered last November, earning two assists so far. At this point, though, it seems he'd rather see his team round into shape than add to his personal totals.

"There's only six periods left," Stamkos said. "If we've learned anything from the last couple years, we want to start the season on time, not get behind the eight ball. There's definitely some areas to improve."

The Lightning conclude preseason with games on Thursday and Saturday before kicking their regular season off Oct. 6 against Florida.