Player Discussion: Nikita Kucherov - Part 2

Discussion in 'Tampa Bay Lightning' started by garnetpalmetto, Dec 5, 2018.

  1. garnetpalmetto

    garnetpalmetto Global Moderator

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    Last edited by moderator LightningStrikes: Dec 10, 2018
  2. DominicBoltsFan

    DominicBoltsFan Here I am, composing a burlesque

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  3. Hockey4Life91

    Hockey4Life91 Registered User

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    Kucherov's play in October was merely above average. In November, however, he ratcheted it up a gear or two and was simply on fire. Despite a great season thus far, without reviewing the metrics, Kucherov's season - at least to me -- does not feel like it is on par with last year. That is because the first quarter of last season Kucherov felt other-worldly.

    Please do not misinterpret my statement, though. Kucherov has been incredible this year.

    I therefore decided to take a quick look at the statistics through his first 32 games the past 2 seasons. They were interesting. Last year, he had 23 goals, 23 assists, 46 points and 115 shots through 32 games. This year he has 12 goals, 33 assists, 45 points and 83 shots. Despite setting the world on fire last year and being #1 in the NHL in points at this juncture, he is only 1 point behind his pace. And he sits at #2 in total points. This confirms how he just accumulates points even on down nights.

    In light of the statistics, I believe that this season feels just a tad less impressive than last year because his goal output has been cut in half. I largely credit this to Point's emergence. Stamkos was spectacular last year during the first 32 games of the season. But Point has been extremely reliable this year when it comes to putting the puck in the net. So I feel like Kucherov is looking for him even more than he was looking for Stamkos last season.

    The point is, as we all know, Kucherov is a rare talent. He is an equally world class play maker and trigger man. I hope that he defers a little less and shoots slightly more.

    But I am not complaining at all. Just wanted to make an observation. For the first time, this team is hitting on all cylinders. It is marvelous to see. The added depth that Joseph, Gourde, Cirelli, and Cernak offer this season is vastly underrated. We are so fast and skilled that teams have trouble rolling 4 lines like we do and keeping up for a whole game. To me, Joseph has been the most impressive. I think at this point I may be higher on him than anyone else. The kid is going to put up 30 goals in a season a couple times (though not this year). We know he is a burner (I really want to see him in a race versus McDavid - no joke), but he has such great hands, which I did not realize would translate so well to the NHL level.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2018
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  4. AlwaysSunnyInTampa

    AlwaysSunnyInTampa At last!! Street cred is mine!

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    Someone's gonna have to pay DFC for copywrite usage of the term "Kucherov sneezes points"
     
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  5. DFC

    DFC Registered User

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    Stole it from Sky.
     
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  6. AlwaysSunnyInTampa

    AlwaysSunnyInTampa At last!! Street cred is mine!

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    *Snicker*

    I would never have guessed. He's got you to thank for making it famous
     
  7. Hit The Lights

    Hit The Lights Registered User

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  8. Vasilevskiy

    Vasilevskiy I've many surnames

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    That Vinny season was insane
     
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  9. The Macho Man

    The Macho Man Lusty Bodychecker

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    It's crazy we ended up last that season.
     
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  10. JoVel

    JoVel Registered User

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    We also ended up 3rd last when Stamkos and MSL we're 1st and 2nd in scoring.
     
  11. DFC

    DFC Registered User

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    I don't think it's all that uncommon for low-finishing teams to have massive scorers. Somebody has to do the scoring, and sometimes it's mostly done by one guy. See: Edmonton.
     
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  12. Rschmitz

    Rschmitz Yzermaned

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    Kucherov was flirting with 50 in 50 for a while last year, his impact this season since seems mild in comparison because hes scoring less goals.

    That stretch from mid 16/17 until early last year was insane, he knew he was the man then and tried to score from everywhere and was aggressively selfish with shooting the puck. Loved it. He kind of forgot he was the guy last year playing with Stammer.

    A key part of Kucherovs game which he hasn't shown a lot of recently is deflections. He's changed that part of his game.
     
  13. DFC

    DFC Registered User

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    His point production over the past 6 weeks is actually in that same realm though. And these aren't pedestrian points. The goal-scoring isn't quite there because he's become even more selective about his shots (he's always been too selective, IMO), but I think he's back at that peak level, or pretty close to it. Still having the odd bad game, but, even in those games, he often makes a big difference with one or two timely plays. And his ability to do that has always been the thing that separates him.
     
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  14. Yzerplan89

    Yzerplan89 Registered User

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    He's got a good shot at the Ross. Gotta think he's saving something in the tank for the 2nd half. Thought he had it locked up last season until he went cold and mcdavid passed him. It's crazy that he's pacing along with McKinnon and Rants while not exactly setting the world on fire like they are. Expect a second half explosion going into the playoffs. At least I'm hopeful this is what happens.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2018
  15. DFC

    DFC Registered User

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    I think it might be the opposite, same as last year. I hope I'm wrong, but, last year, we built a big cushion, then coasted to the playoffs, then hit the gas again, then ran into the brick wall that was Washington's D.
     
  16. Rschmitz

    Rschmitz Yzermaned

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    My argument was about the feel, 40 goals definitely feels more impactful than 40 assists, does it not?

    I half agree with you on shot selection. Yeah he irritatingly chooses not to shoot as much and passes instead, but it's statistically proven that he also takes a lot of low percentage shots which he shouldn't because he skillfully converts on many. That might be the biggest hole in his game, he relies on his talent far too often to overcome obstacles instead of making the smart play, whether that be a pass or a shot.

    I say this but I know that he might be the most cerebral and creative player on the team. The same ego that tells him not to shoot but pass instead, is telling him to take the more difficult path. Weird
     
  17. DFC

    DFC Registered User

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    I don't fault him for any shot, because he scores more than other people on shots he shouldn't take. Because it's so unpredictable, and he makes it even more unpredictable by shooting at weird speeds and targets. I think his biggest strength when it comes to every single thing is he's "dynamic." You just never know what a pass is going to actually look like, even if you know he's going to pass. Same with his shooting. With his skating, he can trick you into thinking he has average speed, and then turns it on and shows you he's a better skater than you. He lulls opponents to sleep a lot, and then explodes.

    Last year he scored a ton of goals through 30ish games and then slowed waaaaaay down. This year he's likely to end up with a very similar goal total, but it won't be in the big bunch. If he keeps up anything close to his current level of play, he should obliterate his career highs. Of course, his current level of play isn't an easy thing to sustain. But we've seen him do it through the calendar year of 2017.
     
  18. Iceman

    Iceman Registered User

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    Declining.
     
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  19. JoVel

    JoVel Registered User

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    So will Kuch be ahead of MSL when it's all said and done?
     
  20. Rschmitz

    Rschmitz Yzermaned

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    He' not faulted for the shots he shouldn't take but does, he's faulted for the shot's he doesn't take but should. I don't believe he's been at all efficient with his shot selection
     
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  21. DFC

    DFC Registered User

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    Agreed on that. I think he should be shooting a lot more.
     
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  22. Rschmitz

    Rschmitz Yzermaned

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    In points? Yes. In lore? Marty doing what he did in the time period that he did it, that's story book material
     
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  23. The Macho Man

    The Macho Man Lusty Bodychecker

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    Marty was also the heart and soul for a really long time. No offense to Kucherov - he's a stud and I believe he gives everything he has out there, but Marty's chip on his shoulder reflected Lightning fan's chips from being the small market no one cared about. I don't have any pictures of Kucherov screaming at a ref with blood coming out of his mouth to look at.

    That being said - it's still early. Marty (and Vinny) occupy the places they have and won't have a chance of getting knocked out until we get back on the Cup.
     
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  24. JoVel

    JoVel Registered User

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    Yeah I agree with everything above. Kucherov could pass Marty as being the better player, but unless something drastically changes, Marty will still be the greatest Bolt ever even after everyone from our current roster has retired.
     
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  25. Sky04

    Sky04 Registered User

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    Can you imagine MSL having the luxury of being able to complain about under-performing teammates and getting upset about only missing the playoffs once in 5 years :laugh:
     
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