Kucherov On Target for 130 Point Season

Photo Credit: Michael J. Cox

ne 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 and Counting

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

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