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NHL

Puckspeak: Lightning center Stamkos says scoring title doesn't matter

| Saturday, April 13, 2013, 11:51 p.m.

Trib reporter Josh Yohe talks to Lightning center Steven Stamkos about his pursuit of the scoring title and the team's performance this season.

Q: Would winning the scoring title take the sting off what has been a disappointing season?

A: No, not at all. I'm not worried about that stuff right now. I'm really not. We just want to finish these last nine games as well as we can. Whatever happens, happens. I don't spend a lot of time thinking about the scoring title, to be honest with you.

Q: How would you assess the way you've played this season?

A: I'm not pleased. You should be able to do more than what you've done if your team isn't in a playoff spot. Everyone on our team would probably say that and I'm no different. I've wanted to improve in different areas, but I still can do a lot better on a lot of different things. I want to be better for our team.

Q: If you win the scoring title, many will say it was by default because of Sidney Crosby's injury. Is this awkward for you?

A: Well, it's obviously a tough thing for Sid. You never want to see him out of the game. I'm not worried about the scoring title. I just want Sid to get healthy, just like everyone else in the league does. You don't want to see him out of the game, especially when you consider all the time that he's missed over the past few years. I'm not worried about the scoring race. You just don't want to see a player of his caliber missing games like this. He's so good for the game. It's always a bad thing when he's out of the lineup and it's always such a challenge to play against him.

Q: Have you given up hope on making the playoffs?

A: Not until we're mathematically out of it. We're all professionals here and we all try to keep that belief that we have a chance. We have tough games coming up, but we just have to believe that we can win them all.

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