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Last Updated: July 1, 2021

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Kucherov Leads Lightning over Canadiens in Game 1 of Stanley Cup Finals

Introduction

The unbelievable play from the Tampa Bay Lightning’s superstar right – winger, Nikita Kucherov, continued on the ice last Monday night in game 1 of the 2021 Stanley Cup Finals against the Montreal Canadiens. Kucherov has been banged up as he played very sparingly in game 6 and was considered to be questionable heading into game 7 of the Stanley Cup semi – finals against the New York Islanders. Not to mention that Nikita was sidelined for the entire 2020 – 2021 NHL regular season as he rehabbed from a December 29th, 2020 surgical procedure on his hip.

Although Kucherov is listed as day – to – day on the injury report of the National Hockey League he is still managing to lead the Tampa Bay Lightning by lighting the lamp throughout Nikita’s amazing 2021 NHL postseason run. In game 1 against the Montreal Canadiens, Kucherov shot two pucks to the back of the net for two goals in the third period as well as picking up an assist on another goal by Steven Stamkos also in the third period of the game. Nikita’s 3 points late in game 1 enabled him to reach an extremely rare and difficult playoff achievements.

Nikita Kucherov Makes NHL History

Nikita has now made some unreal history in National Hockey League as Kucherov became one of only three players in the history of the NHL to have ever scored 30 or more points in consecutive postseasons. The other two players to have ever accomplished that unbelievable feat are Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux who were two of the best players to ever lace up ice skates and pick up a hockey stick. Not only did Gretzky and Lemieux have long and decorated careers in the NHL filled with all sorts of records, trophies, and other impressive honors, but they both dominated when it counted the most as in the NHL playoffs.

It seems as if Kucherov may have that in common with them as he is becoming one of the best players in the NHL postseason year after year. Right now, it looks like Kucherov is the leading candidate to win the 2021 Conn Smythe Trophy for being the most valuable player (MVP) of the National Hockey League’s Stanley Cup playoffs.

Media Statements

"That's one of the best players in the world," the captain of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Steven Stamkos, said regarding Nikita Kucherov. "He's playing like a beast right now. He's so, so good."

"Guys are battling through injuries; it's kind of an inspiration to others, and so it's uplifting, watching what guys fight through, especially at this time of year," the head coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Jon Cooper, explained. "And [Kucherov is] doing that and clearly he was rewarded for it tonight and in how he played and some of the results. It's Finals time, and everybody's playing banged up and fortunately for this group, why we probably had some success because everybody's fighting through it."

Nikita Kucherov’s Ice Hockey Career Achievements, Honors, and Awards

  • MHL All – Star Game (2011)
  • 3 Time NHL All – Star Game (2017, 2018, 2019)
  • 2 Time NHL Second All – Star Team (2017, 2020)
  • 2 Time NHL First All – Star Team (2018, 2019)
  • Art Ross Trophy (2019)
  • Ted Lindsay Award (2019)
  • Hart Memorial Trophy (2019)
  • Stanley Cup Champion (2020)
  • U18 First Team All – Star (2011)

The 2020 – 2021 NHL Standings

Central Division

Carolina Hurricanes 36 – 12 – 8 80 Points

Florida Panthers 37 – 14 – 5 79 Points

Tampa Bay Lightning 36 – 17 – 3 75 Points

Nashville Predators 31 – 23 – 2 64 Points

Dallas Stars 23 – 19 – 14 60 Points

Chicago Blackhawks 24 – 25 – 7 55 Points

Detroit Red Wings 19 – 27 – 10 48 Points

Columbus Blue Jackets 18 – 26 – 12 48 Points

East Division

Pittsburgh Penguins 37 – 16 – 3 77 Points

Washington Capitals 36 – 15 – 5 77 Points

Boston Bruins 33 – 16 – 7 73 Points

New York Islanders 32 – 17 – 7 71 Points

New York Rangers 27 – 23 – 6 60 Points

Philadelphia Flyers 25 – 23 – 8 58 Points

New Jersey Devils 19 – 30 – 7 45 Points

Buffalo Sabres 15 – 34 – 7 37 Points

North Division

Toronto Maple Leafs 35 – 14 – 7 77 Points

Edmonton Oilers 35 – 19 – 2 72 Points

Winnipeg Jets 30 – 23 – 3 63 Points

Montreal Canadiens 24 – 21 – 11 59 Points

Calgary Flames 26 – 27 – 3 55 Points

Ottawa Senators 23 – 28 – 5 51 Points

Vancouver Canucks 23 – 29 – 4 50 Points

West Division

Colorado Avalanche 39 – 13 – 4 82 Points

Las Vegas Golden Knights 40 – 14 – 2 82 Points

Minnesota Wild 35 – 16 – 5 75 Points

St. Louis Blues 27 – 20 – 9 63 Points

Arizona Coyotes 24 – 26 – 6 54 Points

Los Angeles Kings 21 – 28 – 7 49 Points

San Jose Sharks 21 – 28 – 7 49 Points

Anaheim Ducks 17 – 30 – 9 43 Points

Odds to Win the 2021 NHL Conn Smythe Trophy

For those interested in sports betting!!! According to My Bookie sportsbook these are the odds as of Tuesday, June 29th, 2021 to win the 2021 NHL Conn Smythe Trophy.

Player                                                                          Odds
Andrei Vasilevskiy (Tampa Bay Lightning)                 +120
Nikita Kucherov (Tampa Bay Lightning)                     +200
Brayden Point (Tampa Bay Lightning)                        +350
Carey Price (Montreal Canadiens)                             +600
Steven Stamkos (Tampa Bay Lightning)                    +5000
Victor Hedman (Tampa Bay Lightning)                       +6000
Nicholas Suzuki (Montreal Canadiens)                      +8000
Cole Caufield (Montreal Canadiens)                         +10000
Tyler Toffoli (Montreal Canadiens)                             +10000
Alex Killorn (Tampa Bay Lightning)                            +10000
Corey Perry (Montreal Canadiens)                            +15000
Brendan Gallagher (Montreal Canadiens)                 +20000

 

Sources:

“Nikita Kucherov joins exclusive club after 2-goal, 1-assist Game 1 for victorious Lightning in Stanley Cup Final”, Emily Kaplan, espn.com, June 28, 2021.

“Nikita Kucherov”, hockey-reference.com, June 29, 2021.

“NHL Standings 2020 – 2021”, espn.com, June 29, 2021.

“United States, NHL Futures – NHL 2021 Conn Smythe Trophy – To Win”, mybookie.ag, June 29, 2021.


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