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The Nikita Kucherov Show

from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,

This was Nikita Kucherov’s 13th game of the entire season.

Roughly a month’s worth of action coming off no training camp, no exhibition play and not much of anything besides tedious rehabilitation from the time he had a labral tear in his right hip surgically repaired on Dec. 29 until the start of these Stanley Cup Playoffs.

And yet here in a hotly-contested, high-stakes game the Tampa Bay Lightning absolutely needed to win, there wasn’t much debate about why they did.

“Some unreal plays by No. 86,” remarked Victor Hedman of Kucherov’s three-assist performance in Tuesday’s 4-2 victory over the New York Islanders.

Put aside for a moment the discussion about the salary cap maneuvering that accompanied Kucherov’s injury — we’ll get to that below — and consider the human achievement we’re witnessing here.

Kucherov is lapping the field with 22 points in these playoffs and it’s still the early stages of the third round. That’s traditionally been a respectable total for an entire spring — Ryan O’Reilly won the Conn Smythe Trophy two years ago after scoring 23 points for the St. Louis Blues — and never before has the leading scorer in the post-season missed the entire regular season directly preceding it.


Below, catch the game highlights.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Hockey | Permalink



... and never before has the leading scorer in the post-season missed the entire regular season directly preceding it.

Except, well, Peter Forsberg did it in 2002, even without the Avs making the finals.

Posted by Sven22 from Grand Rapids on 06/16/21 at 10:17 AM ET

SYF's avatar

Just me probably, but Sergachev looks like he got heavier and stronger and not necessarily faster, but quicker first three strides.  It’s nuts.

Posted by SYF from impossible and oddly communally possessive sluts on 06/16/21 at 12:55 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

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