You might consider the first period of Lightning – Sabres as the highs and lows of Nikita Kucherov.
Tampa Bay entered the first intermission up 2-0 against Buffalo, and Kucherov played a big role in building that lead. Unfortunately, Kucherov might be just as likely to fall on the Department of Player Safety’s to-do list as he is on highlight reels.
That goal really was something, though. Kevin Shattenkirk made a genius breakout pass to send Brayden Point off to the races, and Point showed tremendous touch in setting up Kucherov for a beauty of a one-time goal:
But Kucherov’s hit on Vladimir Sobotka wasn’t so beautiful.
Both Jeremy Roenick and Keith Jones criticized the check during the intermission break, calling it cheap, late, and low. You can judge for yourself in the video above this post’s headline: is it worth a look from the league? Should it have at least drawn a minor penalty during the game?
(Sabres head coach Ralph Krueger griped to officials about the hit, but one indicated that they simply didn’t see it.)
The Lightning ended up beating the Sabres 3-2.