Steven Stamkos says that the Tampa Bay Lightning are prepared for a low-scoring Eastern Conference Final with the New York Rangers, with both teams backstopped by elite performers in Andrei Vasilevskiy and Igor Shesterkin.
Steven, I know you had the long wait to get here, but just now that you got a chance to know who you're playing and just what's struck you about watching the Rangers, time to go face them, and just watching them in the playoffs here?
STEVEN STAMKOS: Yeah, I mean, at this time of the year when you're down to four, it's going to be four elite teams. So they're an elite team. They have the blueprint to be an elite team. They've got a great goalie, really solid defense, obviously, some offensive guys there, in Fox in particular, and then some very, very skilled forwards, great special teams.
And then not only the skilled forwards, they got a lot of depth. They have guys that certainly play their role and have done a tremendous job. So watching the game last night, whoever we were going to play was going to be a huge test, our toughest one yet and we're looking forward to that challenge.
- Steven, with Shesterkin, what kind of challenges are there with him? I mean, he's almost very similar in a lot of ways to what you have in Andrei Vasilevskiy, and just to trying to find ways to beat him after watching Carolina struggle there.
STEVEN STAMKOS: Yeah, I mean, you guys are going to make the comparisons. We know what we have in our guy and, obviously, he's had a tremendous year in New York. A great regular season and he's on a really good run right now.
But I think for us, no matter what goaltender we've played over the past couple of years, I mean, it's not the main focus. We've got to go out there and play our best. And if it's going to be a low scoring series, it's going to be a low scoring series. We're totally fine with that.
If you've got two elite goaltenders and two teams that are willing to defend, then so be it. We have to be comfortable in that situation. Obviously, we don't know exactly how it's going to play out, but when you have two really good goalies, that's usually the case. So our group is comfortable in playing that way and we'll see how it goes.