Raise your hand if you predicted the team leading the NHL over a month into the season would be one from Florida.
After missing out on the playoffs last year, the Tampa Bay Lightning are off to a fast and furious start. They currently sit atop the NHL standings with a record of 14-2-2. Goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy leads the league with 13 wins and is tied for fourth in the NHL with a save percentage of .930. But perhaps most importantly, the Lightning boast the duo of Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov, a pair the rest of the league is likely jealous of.
Stamkos and Kucherov are first and second, respectively, in points and Kucherov leads the league with 16 goals scored so far this season. Kucherov earned the NHL’s title of No. 2 Star of the Week this week after notching two goals and five assists in a 3-game sweep of the Lightning’s California road trip.
Stamkos sat out most of last season with a knee injury, but he has returned with a vengeance this season, and he and linemate Kucherov have done some serious damage early. They are the first set of NHL teammates since 2005-2006 to each record 30 points before their team’s 20th game of the season. That’s insane!
They are also just the second set of teammates to have season-opening nine-game point streaks since 2001-2002. Each time their line hits the ice you won’t want to change the channel. These two are just so much fun to watch.
And they have fun playing together. Kucherov told reporters that he thinks the duo “think the same way, You can see it on the ice. I always know where Stammer is going to be and I’m sure he knows where I’m going to be. It’s just so much fun playing with him.”
The rest of the NHL better be ready when taking the ice against these two; they’re ready to bring Tampa its second Stanley Cup. The Lightning look to make the Dallas Stars their next victim when the Stars come to Tampa this Thursday night.