• Back at practice after lower-body injury

    News: Nikita Kucherov (lower body) is on the ice for practice Monday, reports Erik Erlendsson of the Tampa Tribune.
    Analysis: Nikita Kucherov should be fine for opening night. He had left Thursday's preseason match against Dallas as a precaution and sat out Saturday's contest to rest.
  • Should be healthy for regular season

    News: Coach Jon Cooper indicated following Thursday's preseason game that Nikita Kucherov (lower body) may skip Saturday's preseason contest, but believes he'll be fine for the beginning of the regular season, Erik Erlendsson of The Tampa Tribune reports.
    Analysis: Nikita Kucherov's injury occurred early in Thursday's contest, and he ultimately didn't return after attempting to test it out during a timeout. Fortunately, it appears the issue is nothing major, and the team will likely ensure he's healthy even if that means keeping him out of the final preseason contest.
  • Exits with lower-body injury

    News: Nikita Kucherov left Thursday's preseason game against the Stars with a lower-body injury and will not return, the Tampa Bay Times reports.
    Analysis: Nikita Kucherov may have suffered an injury when colliding with Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen, or it may have come later following a hit. He went to the locker room, but tried to test out the issue briefly during a timeout before leaving permanently. Jonathan Drouin and Alex Killorn filled in on his line Thursday, but it would be a big blow to begin the season for the Lightning if the injury turns out to be something serious.
  • Bolts' Kucherov: Triplet Line Will Be Even Better

    News: Nikita Kucherov thinks he and the Triplet Line can be better than they were last year, reports the Tampa Tribune. "Any good player can be good one year; good players play every year at a high level even better than the year before," said the talented sniper. "The main goal is to be better than last year."
    Analysis: Bolts' coach Jon Cooper split the trio of Nikita Kucherov, Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat up at the start of training camp, but only to test other players who were in camp. Kucherov has been going off the board early in preseason drafts, so don't let him fall too far on draft day.
  • Lightning's Kucherov (Upper Body) Available Monday

    News: Nikita Kucherov (upper body) is on the ice for pregame warmups and is expected to play in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals against the Blackhawks on Monday, Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News reports.
    Analysis: Nikita Kucherov came into Monday listed as probable so his official availability for Game 6 is not all that surprising given that he also participated in Monday's morning skate. Despite suffering an injury near his head and neck region and prematurely exiting Game 5, Kucherov is ultimately in line for his normal workload in Game 6.
  • Bolts' Kucherov Probable For Game 6

    News: Coach Jon Cooper told reporters that Nikita Kucherov is probable for Monday's Game 6 against the Blackhawks, Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
    Analysis: Nikita Kucherov took part in Tampa Bay's optional morning skate on Monday and didn't appear to be limited in any way when on the ice. It's almost certain he'll suit up for Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals against the Hawks, but his availability won't be confirmed until both teams take the ice for pregame warmups.
  • Bolts' Kucherov Will Travel To Chicago

    News: Nikita Kucherov (upper body) will travel with the team to Chicago ahead of Monday's Game 6 against the Blackhawks, Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
    Analysis: Nikita Kucherov suffered the injury during Saturday's Game 5, and his status for a potential series-clinching game is still in question. While we can't take too much from this news, it does tell us that whatever injury Kucherov suffered isn't serious enough to definitively rule him out for the remainder of the series. Expect him to be a game-time call Monday for Game 6 of the Stanley Cup.
  • Bolts' Kucherov: "Considerably Better Shape"

    News: Nikita Kucherov (upper body) was "... in considerable better shape today [Sunday] than he was last night," said head coach Jon Cooper at Sunday's media briefing. "These two days will give him the rest he needs."
    Analysis: An earlier report said he was travelling with the team to Chicago for Game 6 and would be a game-time decision. But Jon Cooper tends to choose his words carefully and that could mean Nikita Kucherov will be back in that lineup Monday night, even if he doesn't participate in Monday's optional skate.
  • Bolts' Kucherov Does Not Return To Game 5

    News: Nikita Kucherov left and did not return to Saturday's Game 5 against the Blackhawks after crashing into the goal, hitting his neck on the post.
    Analysis: Nikita Kucherov was expected to return to the game, but never made it back onto the bench. Lightning Coach Jon Cooper did not provide an update on Kucherov's status.
  • Bolts' Kucherov: Now Second In Postseason Scoring

    News: Nikita Kucherov picked up a goal and an assist in Saturday's 4-3 win in Game 2 of the Cup Final. He now sits second in postseason scoring with 10 goals and 11 assists.
    Analysis: He's just a point behind teammate Tyler Johnson for the league lead and he's tied for second overall in goals. He and the other Triplets had struggled of late, but Game 2s always seem to bering out the best in them. He has been a revelation this season and postseason, and could be a top-10 NHL point producer very soon.