Unnumbered Thoughts: Nikita Kucherov carrying the Tampa Bay Lightning with MVP-worthy play

Because of their recent history, the Tampa Bay Lightning often get the benefit of the doubt. 

Winning back-to-back Stanley Cups in 2020 and 2021, and going to a third final in 2022, will do that. 

Tampa, like the Vegas Golden Knights, are simply assumed to be a contender every year. It’s the closest thing we have to an NHL dynasty in the 2020s, and when that’s the bar for success it tends to overshadow what’s happening in the present. 

Perception wise, it has muddled the Hart Trophy case for Nikita Kucherov

We expect Tampa to be a contender, they have other superstars and the goalie many believe to be the best in the world. It’s hard to look at one offensive piece as a true MVP candidate with that narrative. 

But in reality, Kucherov has effectively propped up an old team that otherwise is st

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NHL NCAA Detroit Red Wings Nashville Predators Tampa Bay Lightning Univ. of Denver Vegas Golden Knights NHL NCAA Filip Forsberg Adin Hill Nikita Kucherov Moritz Seider
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