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The total knock-outs that are the Lightning's TKO Trio

While they're not the famed MVP line from Lightning history, the TKO trio has put up an impressive offensive punch for the Bolts in 2014-15.

Th e total knock-outs that are Tyler Johnson,Nikita Kucherov and Ondrej Palat.
Th e total knock-outs that are Tyler Johnson,Nikita Kucherov and Ondrej Palat.
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

They're an offensive knock-out and that's reason enough to call the Tampa Bay Lightning's second line the TKO Trio instead of the more common "triplets" moniker that has followed Tyler Johnson, Nikita Kucherov and Ondrej Palat around since the beginning of the season.

How much of a knock-out are these guys? It's just the numbers, readily available on statistical sites but... Well, before we play tonight's game against the Dallas Stars, the TKO Trio has a combined 173 points. With 63 goals scored, the trio has delivered a lamp-lighting punch just under once a game on average (.954) and their 94 assists combined means they're aiding someone else (each other plenty of those times) 1.45 times a game.

That's 2.63 points a game by the trio.  That's remarkable.

They're not carrying the squad in the same light that the famed M-V-P line did in 2006-07; the line combo of Martin St. Louis, Vincent Lecavalier and Vaclav Prospal produced a jaw-dropping 265 points over the course of the full season (with Lecavalier and St. Louis both ending the season with over 100 points). That team was top heavy offensively and didn't have the secondary scoring depth compared to what the Lightning has now.

There are 16 games left in the season, and if the goal-scoring average holds up for the three combined, it's possible for Johnson and Kucherov to both top 30 goals this season (15.27 goals would come from the three maintaining their average).

Of course, individual averages are different than a group average, and combined average slights this.

Whatever they do in the remaining time of the season, the TKO Trio have accomplished mightily for the Bolts during their respective sophomore seasons as NHL players.


Games Played




Plus / Minus

Tyler Johnson






Nikita Kucherov






Ondrej Palat