Is Stamkos in the Big Three?

Amber Alexander asks if Steven Stamkos should be considered amongst the top players in the National Hockey League in only his third season in the league.

By Amber Alexander

It’s become clear that some fans who aren’t Penguin fans have heard enough of Crosby.

He’s been called a diver and a whiner.

He’s talked about way too much.

He’s advertised too much.

What I do not understand is how the media and fans can begin to say that Steven Stamkos should be on the level of Sidney Crosby. Stamkos is in his third season with the Lightning. Crosby is in his sixth season with the Penguins.

Has Stamkos done enough to earn the right to all the hype that is surrounding him and his future?

Definitely…he has played amazing hockey.

But to go as far as to say that he should be treated like a Crosby or Ovechkin is taking it a little too far. Don’t get me wrong, Stamkos’ future is looking amazing but give him a couple more years before you start comparing him to star players.

Let’s take a look at why, in only his third season, Stamkos isn’t on the level of Crosby.

First, when you look at each player’s first season you see a completely lopsided statistic pattern.

Stamkos’ first season:

79 GP– 23 G– 23 A– for a total of 46 points.

Crosby’s first season:

81 GP– 39 G– 63 A– for a total of 102 points.

Following his first season in the NHL, Stamkos bulked up after some great work with Gary Roberts and we all saw the results during his sophomore season — 51 goals, 44 assists and 95 points.

He played great.

But Crosby matched him, actually getting better results while playing one less game — managing 51 goals, 58 assists and 109 points.

And in looking at the empty net goals by each you’ll see that Stamkos had three compared to Crosby’s one.

But stats aside, Stamkos hasn’t earned the comparisons to Crosby in other ways.

Yes he made a change in his game with Roberts help, displaying amazing skill.

But at the age of 20, Stamkos still has a lot of learning to do.

Crosby has already made history is a lot of ways:

He’s the youngest player to record 100 points.

He’s the youngest player to record 200 career points.

He’s the youngest player to record 2 consecutive 100 point seasons.

He’s the youngest player to lead NHL playoffs in scoring at the age of 20.

And finally, he’s the youngest captain to hoist the Stanley Cup.

As a fan of the Penguins there is frustration with the bashing of Crosby, we’re all used to it. But as fans we know he deserves everything he gets.

His work ethic is out of this world.

Every summer he works on something that needs to change for the next season to make himself even better.

First was his shot, then it was his face-offs and now he wants to be as unpredictable as possible. As of right now Crosby has 9 goals, and 21 points in his last 10 games.

Crosby is beginning to get help from his wingers but with Geno just now finding his game, Crosby has had to lead this team. He’s leadership during the the Flower’s early season struggles showed that he is a true captain.

Do I think Stamkos should be on the level of Crosby someday?

I know for a fact he will if he continues on with the way he is playing right now.

But we can all sit back and watch our captain shine and remember that he is only 23 years old… he’s got a lot more in him.

For right now all the negative backlash Crosby gets makes his game better.

Give Stamkos a few more years before comparing him to some of the best players in the world.


7 Comments on this Post

  1. Gunner Staal

    I have to disagree. Stamkos deserves a mention. It doesnt mean he is in the top 3 but his name should be in that discussion.

    If not Stamkos than who? The Sedins? Malkin? I dont think those players are at Stamkos’ level right now.

  2. Why does it have to be a top 3?? The article is based on how he doesn’t deserve to be a top 3 contender for best player in the world. It’s his 3rd season in the NHL with only 1 good full season. His first season wasn’t a top 10 season and this is his 3rd season that isn’t finished yet

  3. Gunner Staal

    Who is your top 3 right now?

  4. There’s a different in top 3 for a season and top 3 for a player in the NHL.

    Top 3 this season:
    1. Crosby (better all around and doesn’t have St. Louis)
    2. Stamkos
    3. Ovechkin

    Top 3 best players in the world:
    1. Crosby
    2. Ovechkin
    3. Malkin

    Stamkos has had 1 good season… that’s it. His future is bright, definitely but right now he hasn’t earned that right with 1 good season with guys who have had 6 or more seasons of good seasons

  5. Gunner Staal

    Ovechkin should not be anywhere near anybody’s top three for this season so far. He isnt even the best Russian on his team so far (Semin).

    Top three for this season in no order: Crosby, Stamkos and Drew Doughty.

    Top three in the NHL Crosby, Ovechkin, Toews (you can substitute another player for Toews that is just my personal opinion) Malkin is not in the top 3 anymore, he had a miserable season last year for the standard of top 3 player in the world, he is also off to a slow start this year.

  6. I’ll agree with you on Ovechkin. I don’t see a lot of Doughty but stats but in defensemen he’s up there along with Tanger to me.

    Toews has proved himself as an elite player but he can sometimes have dry spells that knock him out and then comes back.

    Overall though this season Crosby has had to deal with up and down wingers, Geno not producing and goalie controversy. He’s taken it all in stride.

    Like I said Stamkos has St. Louis who I think is the best defensive forward in the game

  7. Gunner Staal

    I really like Letang but he is not even close to being in Doughty’s company.

    Toews won the award for best forward in the Olympics as well as the Conn Smyth trophy, stats arent everything when I look at these players. There are however certain players like Stamkos who are so above and beyond statistically it cant be ignored.

    Crosby is both my number one player in the NHL as well as this season. He continues to produce with lesser variables than what the other elite players in the game have.

    Marty St Louis is still an elite player in this league IMO, but I am not going to hold Stamkos playing with him against him. He still has to execute and right now he is doing so better than anybody.

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