The Tampa Bay Lightning have a new single-season points record holder in forward Nikita Kucherov. He broke that record, previously held by Vincent Lecavlalier, in a two-goal performance to lead the Lightning to a 3-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Sat. March 10.
Lecavalier himself seemed impressed by the new record.
“Kuch is an unbelievable player. 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,” Lecavalier said in a statement provided by the Lightning.
110 points on the season is an impressive feat, especially now. Last season saw Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers lead the league with 108 points. This helps put the performance Kucherov has been having this year on an entirely different level, considering that at the time of this writing, the lightning has 13 more games to add to an already incredible performance.
13 is also the number separating Kucherov from the next highest scorer in the league. Patrick Kane from the Chicago Blackhawks currently sits at 97 points, and with the way Kucherov and the Lightning have been playing, it is doubtful that the league lead will slip away.
While the all-time single-season record of 215 points in the 1985-1986 season by Wayne Gretzky is unattainable for Kucherov, it still stands out as one of the best performances in this century. In 2005-2006 Joe Thornton put up 125 points which give Kucherov opportunity to surpass him. It would be tough, but doable. 16 points in 13 games for a player like Kucherov is certainly a possibility.
It is a good time for the Lightning right now, the team has already clinched a position in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and they have a 15 point lead on the next best team in the race for the President’s Trophy. Now they can rest players and make sure they head into the postseason healthy and ensure the road to the Stanley Cup runs through Tampa.