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Lightning Round: Happy Birthday Nikita Kucherov

The 28-year-old is having yet another dominant playoffs.

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Carolina Hurricanes at Tampa Bay Lightning
Jun 5, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov (86) celebrates as he scores a goal against the Carolina Hurricanes during the third period in game four of the second round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Amalie Arena.
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Tied at the hip, longtime teammates Boris Katchouk and Taylor Raddysh split team MVP awards for the Syracuse Crunch after dual breakout seasons.

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.