Lightning's Kucherov becomes fastest player to 70 points in nearly 2 decades
Nikita Kucherov is a man among boys this season.
The Tampa Bay Lightning superstar racked up his 70th point of the season on a first-period assist Tuesday against the Columbus Blue Jackets. In doing so, Kucherov became the fastest player (43 games) to reach 70 points since Jaromir Jagr did so in the first 38 games of the 1999-00 season, according to NHL Public Relations.
Injuries would limit Jagr to just 63 games that season, but he still won the Art Ross Trophy with 96 points.
Averaging 1.65 points per game thanks to a third-period tally, Kucherov is currently playing at a 135-point pace if he can stay healthy for all 82 games. The last time a player reached the 130-point plateau was the 1995-96 season, when both Jagr (149) and Mario Lemieux (161) surpassed the mark with ease.
Aiding Kucherov along the way during his historic start has been the league-wide scoring spike. Aside from the power-play filled, post-lockout 2005-06 outlier campaign, the NHL's 6.1 goals per game entering Tuesday is the highest since the 1995-96 season.
Kucherov got off to a relatively slow start to the season, picking up 18 points in his first 18 games. Since then, he's averaged over two points per game, racking up 53 points in 25 contests.