1. Nikita Kucherov, Tampa Bay Lightning
I mean, what is there to say about Kucherov that hasn’t already been said?
Kucherov was in fine form again on Monday, scoring twice and adding three assists in a five-point effort that left him one-point shy of 100 on the season. He’s played 60 games now.
The point totals are insane. He seems to be a lock for the Art Ross, and likely the Hart, too. The only real question is what that final total will be in 22 games’ time? With assists like these…
2. Alex DeBrincat, Chicago Blackhawks
DeBrincat match Kucherov’s five-point total with a hat trick and two assists in a wild 8-7 win for the Blackhawks against the Ottawa Senators.
In just his second year in the NHL, DeBrincat has 32 goals and 60 points in 60 games this season, surpassing his 28-goal, 52-point totals from his rookie season a year ago.
He has six goals and 12 points in his past six games now.
The Blackhawks are now just one point back of a playoff spot.
3. Joe Thornton, San Jose Sharks
Semyon Varlamov had a shutout, but 39-year-old Thornton grabbed his first hat trick since 2010 so he gets here by default.
It was Oct. 27, 2010, against the New Jersey Devils, precisely, when Thornton last bludged the twine three times. There was no beard then, no gray hairs either. Just Jumbo Joe, only eight years younger.
Thornton turned back the clock in Monday’s 6-5 overtime loss to the Bruins. It won’t be as sweet, especially after how the Sharks ended up losing, but it was impressive nonetheless.
Highlights of the night
Hands of Kucherov:
Flames 5, Coyotes 2
Lightning 5, Blue Jackets 1
Blackhawks 8, Senators 7
Avalanche 3, Golden Knights 0
Bruins 6, Sharks 5 (OT)
Capitals 3, Kings 2