Exit Interview: Nikita Kucherov, “We didn’t make the playoffs, that’s the big thing”

Transcribed for accessibility. Nikita Kucherov is not particularly excited about hitting the 40-goal mark and he says nice things about Brayden Point.

As the season ends, Tampa Bay Lightning players reflect on the ups and downs of a very tumultuous season.

Question: You guys made a heck of a run down the stretch to come close. What are you the most impressed about the way that this team played?

Nikita Kucherov: Good execution.

Question: Is getting 40 goals special to you? I mean, obviously not many guys get to that.

Kucherov: I mean we didn’t make the playoffs. That’s the big thing. I don’t think about my goals.

Question: Do you think about, with the way this team is built, that you can come back again stronger next year?

Kucherov: I hope so.

Question: You played a lot with Brayden Point here as the season went on. Talk about how he’s grown as the season went on.

Kucherov: He’s been good for us. A good player. He showed at the end of the year that he can play in the league. I think he got [to be a] better player than he was in the beginning.

Question: What did you think of Jonathan Drouin, the way he was able to kind of take off from the playoffs last year to now?

Kucherov: Happy for him.

Question: Are you going to play in the Worlds [IIHF World Championships]?

Kucherov: I don’t know.

Question: Going to miss talking to us?

Kucherov: No. [reporters laugh]