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A Most Valuable performance by Tyler Johnson

The point production by Tyler Johnson has been a huge factor in the Bolts first-half success.

Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

The saying has been tossed around since he was with the Norfolk Admirals in 2011-12, it continues to be repeated at the most appropriate times, and it's a truth: Tyler Johnson is good at The Hockey. He's proven it while playing center between his long-time linemate Ondrej Palat and second-year North American pro Nikita Kucherov. He's proven it while playing with Steven Stamkos at times (on his wing and with Stammer on Johnson's). He's proven it with others on the Lightning roster...

In 41 games played, Johnson is on a better-than point-per-game pace (17 goals, 28 assists, 45 points), ranking him #4 in the NHL as of this writing in the category. The TKO Trio's output has been vital to the Lightning's success in the first half of the 2014-15 season, and Johnson's plus-26 rating pretty much shames the plus / minus of most of the other top-10 point producers in the NHL at the moment (the nearest notable plus-rating is Vladimir Tarasenko of the St. Louis Blues with a plus-19 and 41 points in 40 games).  Only nine of Tyler's points have come during the power play (which can spark debate about issues with the Lightning on the man-advantage or give greater focus on Johnson's production at 5-on-5). The biggest drawback for Johnson, compared to other top-10 point guys in the NHL (centers, specifically) is his 47.6% faceoff percentage.

It's only been 41 games, but Tyler Johnson has clearly been the most valuable player on the Lightning roster so far this season. Arguments could be made for Anton Stralman, Victor Hedman, Palat or Kucherov, but it's Johnson who is most often in the spotlight for enabling those around him.

If Johnson's point production continues at the same pace in the second half, there needs to be a serious conversation in NHL media circles regarding him as a Hart Trophy candidate.