What a season this is turning out to be for Nikita Kucherov. With his two goals in last nights 3-2 win against the Detroit Red Wings.
At 11:56 of the first period Kucherov took a pass from Braydon Point and rifled a shot past Detroit goaltender Jonathan Bernier for his 32nd goal of the season to give the Lightning a 2-0 lead and that would give Kucherov point number 109 on the season passing all-time Lightning great Vincent Lecavalier who had the record with 108 points.
“Kuch is an unbelievable player,” Lecavalier said in a statement provided by the team. “He is so dominant and talented that it is no wonder he broke my Lightning record for most points in a season. I’d like to personally congratulate Nikita for the accomplishment and wish him and the team further success as they approach the playoffs.”
The Lightning have 13 games yet to play so Kucherov will definitely add to his record in the weeks ahead.
It is a great accomplishment to get to 100 points in any season. Since the turn of the century Joe Thornton of the Sharks has tallied the most points in a season with 125.
Jamior Jagr of the Penguins has the second most points this century as he put up 121 during the 2000-01 season.
Kucherov should break the mark set by Joe Thornton as he is on pace to get between 125-130 points. This would also be the most points ever scored in a season by a Russian hockey player.
Kucherov would have more points in a season than Alex Ovechkin who some consider the greatest Russian NHL player of all-time. Evgeni Malkin, Sergei Federov, Alexander Mogilny have never come close to the points that Kucherov will put up.
This is Kucherov’s fifth full -time season in the NHL and he has put up 444 points. Kucherov is just 25 years old and is just coming into his prime. It is not out of the question to think that barring an injury, by the time he is 30 years old he will become the all-time leader in points in Tampa Bay Lightning history.
Kucherov is under contact through 2027 so Lightning fans will be able to enjoy watching him play for a long time.
Kucherov is a lock to win the Art Ross Trophy and should get serious consideration for the Hart Trophy given to the league MVP.
But Kucherov knows what trophy is most importantly. In his post-game press conference after the game against Detroit, head coach Jon Cooper said Kucherov would trade all the scoring records for a chance to lift the Stanley Cup.
The individual accolades and individual awards are nice, but at the end of the day, everyone on this Lightning team knows what they are all playing for and that is to win the Stanley Cup.