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NHL: Nikita Kucherov On Target For 130 Point Season

One of the more interesting things to watch coming down the stretch of this current NHL season is, Tampa Bay Lightning Right Winger Nikita Kucherov’s quest for a 130 point season. To date, Kucherov is on par for 132 points (108 points in 68 games). 

23 Years in the Making

Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr

130 points in a season hasn’t been accomplished in 23 years since the 1995-96 NHL season when both Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr eclipsed the mark with 161 and 149 points respectively. While 50 goals in a season is probably the more “sexy” season accomplishment, it has been accomplished by 91 different NHL players, names like Blaine Sloughton, Guy Chouinard, Danny Gare and Hakan Loob. 

A Rare Accomplishment

By comparison, in the history of hockey, there have only been 23 players who have scored 130 points or more in a season. The first being Phil Esposito during the 1970-71 season. The second being Bobby Orr that same season.

Why So Long?

Why has it been 23 years since we have had a 130 point scorer? Although Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux were both “generational of all generations” type talent that we were blessed with around the same time, it’s not due to lack of talent or skill. The overall speed and skill of today’s NHL is vastly superior. Unfortunately, for NHL scoring enthusiasts, it’s defense and goaltending that rule the day. Defensive systems and goaltending have improved considerably which has closed the gap despite rule changes to improve scoring. Now, we wait and see if Nikita Kucherov can navigate his way around the defense and goaltending to accomplish such a lofty feat in today’s NHL.

The 23 Players on the 130 Points List

  1. Wayne Gretzky
  2. Mario Lemieux
  3. Steve Yzerman
  4. Phil Esposito
  5. Bernie Nicholls
  6. Jaromir Jagr
  7. Pat Lafontaine
  8. Mike Bossy
  9. Adam Oates
  10. Peter Stastny
  11. Bobby Orr
  12. Paul Coffey
  13. Marcel Dionne
  14. Dennis Maruk
  15. Guy Lafleur
  16. Jari Kurri
  17. Bryan Trottier
  18. Teemu Selanne
  19. Pierre Turgeon
  20. Brett Hull
  21. Kent Nilsson
  22. Denis Savard
  23. Dale Hawerchuk

Let Your Voice Be Heard in the Comments Section Below

  • Do you think Nikita Kucherov can accomplish this feat?
  • Will you be impressed if he does?
  • Are you surprised it’s been 23 years since it’s been accomplished?

2 Replies to “NHL: Nikita Kucherov On Target For 130 Point Season

  1. The whole style of hockey has changed in recent history. I firmly don’t believe that goaltenders are any better than in the past. I do believe that goaltender equipment changes/improvements accounts for the so called “better goaltending”. I truly believe someone like Tony Esposito, with today’s equipment would be just as good as the best goalies of today.

  2. I tend to agree. I have played goaltender against a few players who had some NHL experience. The goaltending equipment has greatly improved. Leg pad technology has produced pads that are more sweat resilient. Thus no more added weight at the end of the game on your legs. Other pieces of goaltending equipment offer more protection with less weight. If you watch videos of goalies in the 70s and 80s, they look smaller by comparison than today’s goalies due to the size of equipment. The NHL had to crack down on the size of some of the equipment.

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