Sure, the Seattle Kraken lost their game against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday, but they accomplished something that has only happened seven times this season. They kept Nikita Kucherov off of the scoresheet. The Lightning scored four times, but for the first time in five games, Kucherov didn’t record an assist or a goal.
However, earlier in the day, Kucherov received a nice honor from the league as he was one of the three stars for the week ending January 15th.
Martin Jones (@SeattleKraken), Lucas Raymond (@DetroitRedWings) and Nikita Kucherov (@TBLightning) named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the week ending Jan. 15.#NHLStats: https://t.co/8UpKRbJcUz pic.twitter.com/pQGFtWoiP1— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) January 16, 2023
Martin Jones (who was on the bench for the Kraken yesterday) was the first star of the week while Lucas Raymond of the Detroit Red Wings was the second. Kucherov’s 7 point (3 goals, 4 assists) week was good enough for him to earn the third star award. This is the first Star of the Week this season for Kucherov (he had two third stars and one first star in his historic 2018-19 season) and the first time a member of the Lightning has earned the honor this season. The most recent recipient from the organization was Steven Stamkos who was the first star for the week ending April 24th, 2022.
Midway through the season Kucherov has 62 points (17 goals, 45 assists). His 4.4 points/60 average is on pace with his performance last season and just off the 4.7/60 he put up in 2018-19. He’s currently third in points in the league behind Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. Only McDavid has more assists (46).
Lightning / NHL News
Lightning shut down Kraken in 4-1 win [Raw Charge]
While Brandon Hagel did pick up some empty net points (1 goal, 1 assist), the top line was held in check. Good thing the Bolts have some depth as Nick Paul (third line) and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare (fourth line) provided the non-empty net offense.
Lightning stop Kraken’s win streak [Davy Jones Locker Room]
The view from our friends out west.
A look at the Lightning at the midseason point [Tampa Bay Times]
It was a solid first 41 games for the Bolts, but there is still some room for improvement. Winning two games on the road is a good start for the second half.
Videotron Team of the Week [QMJHL]
Kucherov wasn’t the only member of the organization to receive league honors. Prospect Dyllan Gill posted a 6-assist week for Rouyn-Noranda to make the QMJHL’s team of the week. The defenseman has 39 points (5 goals, 34 assists) in 43 games for the Huskies.
Old friend Louis Domingue had a good week as well:
Shireen Ahmed spoke with Jo Dabney, the 22-year-old artist that designed the special Erie Otters jersey that was worn on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and will be worn again throughout warm-ups during Black History Month.
Matt Boldy signs 7-year contract extension with Wild [Hockey Wilderness]
The Minnesota Wild aren’t going to have to worry about someone poaching their young star with an offer sheet as they wrapped up Matt Boldy to a 7-year deal with a $7 million AAV. The 21-year-old has 68 points (27 goals, 41 assists) in 89 career NHL games.
Jim Rutherford’s Press Conference [Canucks Army]
The Canucks aren’t going to rebuild, they’re going to “retool”. They also can’t trade some of their assets right now because of their contracts. “Bruce is our coach” may not be the strongest endorsement of a head coach considering Rutherford admitted to talking to potential replacements.
Nick Robertson done for the year [Pension Plan Puppets]
The Toronto Maple Leafs forward has been on LTIR and will remain on LTIR after shoulder surgery. The estimated recovery time is six months.