Kucherov magic in Tampa Bay’s victory

by Gary Shelton on January 11, 2023

in general

Kuch scored four points for Bolts/TIM WIRT

Wednesday, 4 a.m.

Watch him Zig. But prepare for the Zag.

Watch his hands. Watch his feet. Watch him as he watches you. And then try to figure out his next move.

Nikita Kucherov, the chess master, was at it again Tuesday night, dodging and darting and making the Columbus Blue Jackets look mortal. Kucherov had four more points -- he is third in the NHL-- to lead the Bolts to a 6-3 win over Columbus.

Content beyond this point is for members only.

Already a member? To view the rest of this column, sign in using the handy "Sign In" button located in the upper right corner of the GarySheltonSports.com blog (it's at the far right of the navigation bar under Gary's photo). Not a member? It's easy to subscribe so you can view the rest of this column and all other premium content on GarySheltonSports.com.

Namestnikov scored his third goal./TIM WIRT

Kuch had two goals and two assists in the game. For the season, Kucherov has 16 goals and 43 assists.

“When you’re on the ice with him, you expect the unexpected," said Nick Paul, whose goal was set up on a pass from Kucherov. "He didn’t look at me once and he put it on my tape."

It was a good game offensively for the Bolts, but coach Jon Cooper found some rough edges to the victory. The team played the third period "loose," he said. It wasn't as urgent as it should have been with the lead.

"Did we improve on some of the thing we wanted to improve?" Cooper said. "Yeah. We took a lot less penalties tonight. But our goal is to win the hockey game and to make sure our team is playing the best we possibly can. I thought a lot of the things we did were excellent. But you watch some of the goals go into the net and just on how we played them and our urgency in some situations. I think we can get a little better at that."

Besides Kucherov and Paul, the Bolts got goals from Vlad Namestnikov, Braydon Point and Ross Colton.

The Bolts are now 16-4-1 at Amalie Arena and just 9-9 on the road.

Tampa Bay is home again on Thursday night to face Vancouver at 7 p.m.

Point scored his 23rd goal./TIM WIRT

Previous post:

Next post: