2016-17: enter, Nikita Kucherov
From the very first game (or seven) of the 2016-17 season, Nikita Kucherov was a force. He had a goal in each of the first seven games of the campaign.
The best moment of the season? That’s a head-scratcher. Of course, there was his ridiculous “no-move” move he pulled during a shootout in a March 4 game in Buffalo. Though we have to give it to goal number 40. This tally was a statement. Scoring forty goals makes you a lethal finisher, and Kucherov proved he was going to be one for years to come.
2017-18: he’s a killer
Though the Lightning ended up losing the series, one goal in particular stuck out. The Bolts had went down 2-0 in their best-of-seven Eastern Conference Final against the Washington Capitals.
They would win the next game on the road. Then, this happened. Alex Killorn showed off his hands and slid home the eventual game-winner. Again, while the Bolts ended up losing the series, the comeback after dropping the first two at home was electrifying, and this Killorn goal was one for the ages.
2018-19: 62 wins
Though we all know the ending, the 2018-19 Bolts regular season remains the greatest one in franchise history. They tied the 1995-96 Detroit Red Wings for the most wins in a single season, with 62.
These boys earned their 62nd win of the year to tie the @nhl record for most wins in a single season, set by the Detroit Red Wings in 1995-96.
— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) April 6, 2019
Nikita Kucherov and the team both had 128 points. Simply incredible, and something that may never be replicated.
What a way to wrap up what was truly an incredible decade of Lightning hockey. From Vinik’s beginning, to the start of some fabulous careers ahead, to a record-setting season. There’s only one thing missing, and one thing left to capture. Stanley.
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