50 in 50? 65? These are some big numbers.

The Bolts

How many goals will Nikita Kucherov score?

Elliotte Friedman hopes that we will finally see another successful 50 goals in 50 games this season and it will be from Tampa Bay’s young Russian sniper. Also, make sure you read the rest of his 31 Thoughts, it’s a gold-mine. [Sportsnet]

31. Nikita Kucherov is at 16 goals in 18 games. I want him to make a run at 50 in 50. If there’s one thing I’d like to see more in the NHL, it’s legitimate pursuit of individual records/accomplishments. The coaching is so good now that it’s so hard to challenge the standards. The driven and determined Kucherov has it in him to do great things in a team-oriented way. I’d love to see it.”

Rob Vollman suggests that a 65-goal season from Kuch is a very real possibility. [NHL dot com]

“Kucherov is on pace for 73 goals in 82 games, which would exceed Ovechkin’s output from 2007-08, when he scored the most goals in a single season since Pittsburgh Penguins forward Mario Lemieux had 69 in 70 games in 1995-96. Wayne Gretzky holds the NHL record for most goals in a season; the forward scored 92 for the Edmonton Oilers in 1981-82.”

I’ll now throw the same question onto you, how many goals will Kucherov score this season? Let us know in the comments!

Steven Stamkos has successfully reminded the world of what he is capable of doing. Now he is a “man on a mission” to bring home a championship. [Last Word on Hockey]

“Stamkos is finally back to full health and is at the elite form of the past. With eight goals and 31 points in just 18 games, Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov (16 goals, 30 points) are the most dynamic duo in the league. Staying healthy and keeping that form for 82 games is the only question at this point. If he is able to do so, the Lightning could be in talks for making the Stanley Cup Final.”

Sneak peak:

From Dallas Ben Bishop returns to Tampa Bay to play his first, and now former, team for the first time. Maybe playing for Bish will be the spark the Dallas Stars need to return to form. [Sports Daily]

“I’m going to try to treat it like any other game, but I am sure it is going to be different coming in here and going into the other locker room,” Bishop said. “But it should be fun.”

Hockey Cards: The Upper Deck Series One cards are being released this month and @torchramrod has a look at the Tampa Bay Lightning players who will be featured. [Raw Charge]

“If you purchase a hobby box, chances are you will get most of the base set which consists of 5-6 cards of each team. The Lightning have six cards in the base set: Alex Killorn, Andrei Vasilevskiy, Anton Stralman, Brayden Point, Nikita Kucherov, Ondrej Palat.

The photography for the base set cards is always fun to see. As you can see with Stralman card not all of the action takes place on the ice. In fact, after flipping through the cards a second time I noticed a certain theme emerge:”

The Prospects

@ElSeldo is here to provide us with another Prospect Report! [Raw Charge]

“In the CHL/Russia series that has taken place in the WHL and OHL there was a common theme: They chose Tampa Bay Lightning prospects as the captains. Throughout this series, it’s common for each team to have a different captain for every contest because the rosters change from game to game. For the WHL game one, Brett Howden was named captain of Team WHL, in game 3 Taylor Raddysh was captain for Team OHL, and in game four vs the OHL Boris Katchouk was named captain for Team OHL.”

Newly acquired Louis Domingue will be a lovely addition to the Syracuse Crunch’s roster this season. [Raw Charge]

“Both of our Crunch writers, Allovimo and Brandon Curtis, have indicated that the defense has been poor at times and that the goaltenders have had to deal with high quality shots against. That could definitely be part of the problem this year. But it can’t be all of the problem. A team that’s giving up so few shots should be getting better results even if some of the shots they’re allowing are more dangerous.”

Speaking of the Crunch, on the night his NHL GM was in town, Adam Erne blows a tire on a breakaway. Poor Erne. I’m sorry for laughing.

The Game

All heck broke loose in the Calgary Flames versus the Detroit Red Wings game last night. Not only was the score 8-2 by the end of it but there was a serious brawl that will most definitely lead to suspensions. Former Bolt Luke Witkowski could be looking at the famous “David Clarkson 10-game suspension for joining a fight when he is not on the ice” [Winging it in Motown] [Sportsnet]

Brent Seabrook’s play is declining with age. What can be done to help find a role suitable for the 32-year-old right-shot defenseman? [Second City Hockey]

“For the first few weeks of the season, Joel Quenneville’s answer to that problem was placing Seabrook on the top pairing with Duncan Keith. They’ve played a lot together in the past, so logic dictated that their experience and chemistry could overcome their aging.”

Artem Anisimov scored his first career NHL hat-trick last night against the New York Rangers as the Chicago Blackhawks double up the Rangers 6-3. [Chillicothe Times-Bulletin]

“New York put a scare into Chicago with goals by Hayes and Nash, pulling within one with 8:04 left. But Schmaltz made a perfect pass to Anisimov for his ninth goal of the season, completing his first career hat trick, and Toews added an empty-netter at 18:30.

Anisimov played for the Rangers from 2008-12.”

Sorry, Artemi, the hat-trick got beat out in the HotN race last night. Arguably twice.

Highlight of the Night: Larkin’s short-handed snipe was good (link above, thanks Reddit) But who doesn’t love bringing back the old-school two-pad stack! Beauty!


Article first appeared on www.draysbay.com