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Lightning Round: Nikita Kucherov leads 3 stars of the month

Oct 17, 2023; Buffalo, New York, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov (86) during the third period against the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

With the Lightning fanbase steeped in negativity due to their four-game losing streak, which wasn’t helped by the curb-stopping by the Stars on Saturday, we figured we’d focus on a little positive this morning. Tampa Bay may not have many bright spots right now, but the one they do have is shining bright like a diamond.

Nikita Kucherov was named the first star of the month for November. That’s right, we had a front row seat to the best player in the league over last month. In 14 games he put up 9 goals and 19 assists for a cool 2.0 points per game. In those 14 games, the Lightning posted a 6-7-2 record, imagine what it would have been like without his performance. He had more games with four or more points (3) than he had without any points (2).

On the season he’s up to 40 points (15 goals, 25 assists) in 24 games with 20 of those points (6 goals, 14 assists) coming on the power play. The fact that the normally pass-first winger is leading the league in shots is probably the most eye-opening stat. Can he make a run at his franchise record of 128 points? Hopefully, because the Lightning will probably need him to be that dominating in order to stay in the playoff rush.

Cale Makar and Quinn Hughes were the second and third stars of the month.

Lightning / NHL News

Lightning lose 8-1 [Raw Charge]

We went with the efficient recap.

Stars 8, Lightning 1 [Tampa Bay Lightning]

The folks over at the website put in a little more effort in their recap.

Coop is taking the long view. It’s just one game out of 82.

“Stay focused. Stay positive.” Calvin de Haan talks to the reporters after the game.

“Can’t get negative, can’t get down.” Austin Watson echos the message in his post game comments.

NHL at the Quarter Mark: One stat for each team [The Athletic]

“Kucherov continue to drive the bus in Tampa Bay. Kucherov’s been absolutely outstanding, and has been one of the best offensive forces in the league this season”

Trophy Tracker: Hughes leads in the Norris race [NHL.com]

Victor Hedman clocks in at third in their voting behind Hughes and Cale Makar.

Five college free agents who could interest NHL teams [Sportsnet]

Some names that the Lightning might be interested in adding to their prospect pool.

Which Stanley Cup contender is a pretender? [Daily Face Off]

Yup, the Lightning are on the list. Did they have to make them first?

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