Tampa Bay Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov turns 28 years old, making it nearly 10 years since he was drafted into the organization. Since his debut, Kucherov has accumulated 221 goals and 547 points in 515 regular season games. And in the playoffs, he has 41 goals and 117 points in 103 games. Yes, he’s well over a point-per-game in the playoffs.
Happy 28th birthday to client Nikita Kucherov of the Tampa Bay Lightning! #WeAreGoldStar! pic.twitter.com/tgMsw1ocLn— Gold Star Hockey (@GoldStarHockey) June 17, 2021
The only time Kucherov was below a point per game in the playoffs was that infamous 2019 playoff series. Following what could be considered the player’s worst moment, Kucherov has turned into one of the two most dominant playoff performers in the league. The other guy is his center Brayden Point.
.@KevinWeekes wants to make sure you know how incredible Nikita Kucherov is at what he does. @TBLightning | #NHLTonight pic.twitter.com/vtunPCG9xE— NHL Network (@NHLNetwork) June 16, 2021
I mean, just look at these. Kuch could very possibly put himself in the same conversation as 80s Gretzky by the end of these playoffs.
Nikita Kucherov (@86Kucherov) joined a trio of @HockeyHallFame members by adding three assists to his total from the last two playoffs. #StanleyCup— NHL (@NHL) June 16, 2021
(Via @PR_NHL) #NHLStats pic.twitter.com/w9sudb5NNi
It just goes to show that superstars win series, and teams with multiple superstars win championships. You just have to make sure your superstars are actually superstars.
“He’s remarkably gifted. He does everything with grace.”— Joe Smith (@JoeSmithTB) June 16, 2021
Nikita Kucherov shows why he’s one of the most creative + dynamic players in #NHL. Plus notes from Game 2, w/ series getting nasty, goals from ‘D’ + @kfraserthecall on controversial calls https://t.co/nrISvYIgak
Game 3 is tonight, here is a synopsis of the second game that tied the series. [Raw Charge]
“I expected the Tampa Bay Lightning to come out more engaged and motivated after a lethargic Game 1 loss to the New York Islanders. Instead, what I saw was a team that made every shift a living nightmare for their opponent. The Lightning was aggressive, angry, and unrelenting in their pressure all evening. The team we saw last night was the team that won a Stanley Cup less than a year ago.”
Bryan Burns gave his 3 things, featuring the “grace” that is Kuch. [NHL dot com]
“I think we just feel each other, trying to read off each other before the puck gets to behind the net,” Kucherov explained on the play. “Pointer’s trying to get open and I’m thinking what he’s going to think. Trying to find him on the short side, and he did a hell of a job jumping out and put it in.”
Jon Cooper went to Nassau Coliseum when he was in university in New York. He talks about that experience and the upcoming atmosphere as the Lightning head on the road. [NHL dot com]
“I didn’t much think of ever being an NHL coach back in college, let alone think I would coach an NHL playoff game there,” Cooper said. “It’s a cool environment to be in. I’m looking forward to it. It will be a lot of fun.”
And I think we all want to hear Dave Mishkin’s call of Palat’s goal again.
You already know we had @DaveMishkin on the mic for that Pally goal! pic.twitter.com/S0dYJTCq0J— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) June 16, 2021
Tied at the hip, longtime teammates Boris Katchouk and Taylor Raddysh split team MVP awards for the Syracuse Crunch after dual breakout seasons.
MVPs— Syracuse Crunch (@SyracuseCrunch) June 16, 2021
Boris Katchouk and Taylor Raddysh paced the Crunch in points this season recording 34 (11g, 23a) and 29 (12g, 17a), respectively. pic.twitter.com/y0XTU864hq
The Vegas Golden Knights lost Game 2 at home as Montreal tied the series. [Knights on Ice]
“The Vegas Golden Knights and Montreal Canadiens continued their series on Wednesday night at T-Mobile Arena. The Golden Knights were not able to get out to a good start, and it bit them in the end. Montreal went up early and did not look back, taking Game 2 by a final score of 3-2 in the end to even the best-of-seven series at 1-1.”
And the Blue Jackets made some internal promotions to their development, scouting, and coaching staffs.
→ Brad Thiessen replaces Jim Corsi as goaltending development coach.— Columbus Blue Jackets (@BlueJacketsNHL) June 16, 2021
→ Nelson Ayotte retires after five seasons with the club, including the past four as director of high performance.