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HomeUncategorizedLightning takes home some trophies at NHL Awards

Lightning takes home some trophies at NHL Awards

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By: Matthew Vandenburgh

The Tampa Bay Lightning did not finish the 2018-2019 season empty handed. Forward Nikita Kucherov won the Hart trophy, the Art Ross Trophy and the Ted Lindsay Award, while goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy won the Vezina Trophy.

Kucherov, who set a new high in points by a Russia-born player, was an easy choice for his two awards. The Ted Lindsay, awarded by the NHLPA, is awarded to the player that other players felt was the most outstanding during the season. Meanwhile the Hart trophy is just as, not more important, for being recognized as the league MVP. The Art Ross Trophy, which was confirmed to be Kucherov’s since the end of the regular season, is awarded to the player who leads the league in points. His 128 points, the most for any player since the 1995-1996 season, meant Kucherov was running away with the lead for the Art Ross for most of the year.

Kucherov is the second player from the Lightning to win the Hart Trophy, following Martin St. Louis during the 2003-2004 season.

At the award ceremony, Kucherov kept his speech all about team success.

“It sounds great, obviously, but the main thing is Stanley Cup. We want to make sure we work harder than we did. We want to bring the Stanley Cup back. All these individuals are really nice, but the main thing is [the] Stanley Cup for me,” Kucherov said.

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Vasilevskiy’s big night was another historic one for the Lightning. He is the first Lightning goalie to win the Vezina, awarded to the best goalie in the NHL. He beat out former Lightning and current Dallas Star Ben Bishop and New York Islander Robin Lehner for the award. The voted points for the award were not close. Vasilevskiy finished with 146 voted points over second place Bishop’s 64.

After a season where he led the NHL with 39 wins, along with six shutouts, Vasilevskiy’s speech also emphasized the team aspect of hockey, displaying gratitude for his teammates.

“This award’s not just mine. It goes to our team, for sure, all the guys working extremely hard. Once again, I want to thank my teammates. Thank you for everything, guys,” Vasilevskiy said.

Now that all the awards are handed out, we can say the season is officially put to bed. The Lightning have a lot of work to do this offseason, trying to find a way to keep Brayden Point, retooling for another run at the cup next season and making sure everyone gets rested up and healthy. So it will be interesting to see how the team does it and what the team will do in a couple of months when the games start up all over again.

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