Goal Box

NIKITA KUCHEROV, LIGHTNING — MILESTONE

2017-03-19T22:40:59+00:00 March 19th, 2017|Exclude From Main Feed, Goal Box|

NIKITA KUCHEROV, Lightning
MILESTONE
  • Wrist Shot
  • Right Circle (Lower, Inside Dot)
  • Rebound
  • Power Play
  • First Period

Where would the Lightning be without Nikita Kucherov this year is an unavoidable question. Certainly not on the edge of qualifying for the playoffs. Though Steven Stamkos has missed the majority of the season, injuries have not been Tampa Bay’s ruination as in the past. A surprising lack of potency from their forwards provides most of the explanation.

Kucherov, however, has been brilliant. And last night he notched his 100th career goal in his third full season in the league while still just 23 years of age. Even with his 15 power play goals, Kucherov stands at plus-12 for the year. In addition to being tied for the NHL lead in power play goals, he’s also even with Max Pacioretty for most goals scored on wrist shots.

He got one of each on his 100th NHL goal last night against the Capitals.

Kucherov put home a rebound while sinking to one knee from the inside half of the lower right circle to achieve his milestone goal. Scoring from the circles has been his stock in trade this year, with 18 of his 31 non-empty net goals coming from there.

Later in the game Kucherov would get started on his next hundred when he scored after Tampa Bay had pulled their goalie for an extra skater. Even here, Kucherov has excelled, claiming a share of the league lead for goals scored with the goalie on the bench at the end of the game.

Chances are Kucherov won’t get a lot of consideration for the Hart Trophy, with the Lightning being on the outskirts of the playoff picture all year. But it’s difficult to imagine how any player has been more valuable to a contending team this season

3/18/2017 vs. Washington.
Highlight available at NHL.com.

NIKITA KUCHEROV, LIGHTNING — HUMAN HAT TRICK RACK

2017-02-28T13:42:10+00:00 February 28th, 2017|Goal Box|

NIKITA KUCHEROV, Lightning
HUMAN HAT TREE RACK

Nikita Kucherov of the Lighnting came into last night’s game with exactly one goal scored on a slap shot this season. His performance on one-timers wasn’t much more impressive: two.

At the conclusion of a span of a little more than 14 minutes in the second period, the Ottawa Senators had to wonder whether they were being sand-bagged.

The scouting reports were good. Kucherov could be left to wander in the middle of the right circle on a Tampa Bay power play. Should he get the puck there, close quickly.

Three bolts later and the scouting report was well on its way to being in embers.

During three second period power plays, Kucherov scored three goals. All on slap shots. All on one-timers. And all from a radius on the ice not much wider than an apple pie.

It was either a stunning display of Kucherov’s skill set or of the Senators’ obstinance, but one thing is certain: The Tampa faithful had a hat toss contest on their hands. Closest to the right circle faceoff dot wins.

2/27/2017 vs. Ottawa