Tampa Bay Lightning Nikita Kucherov, Chicago Blackhawks Patrick Kane Lead NHL Scoring Race

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Nikita Kucherov Patrick Kane
CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 22: Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov (86) reaches in for the puck against Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane (88) during a game between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Tampa Bay Lightning on January 22, 2018, at the United Center in Chicago, IL. (Photo by Patrick Gorski/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Two of the most prolific scorers in the NHL this season Nikita Kucherov and Patrick Kane are battling it out for the Art Ross Trophy awarded to the league’s top point scorer each season.

Nikita Kucherov, Patrick Kane Scoring at a Torrid Pace

Nikita Kucherov Leading the Scoring Race

Kucherov may not be able to be stopped. He is on track to score 135 points at his current pace. He has averaged 1.65 points per game, with 29 goals and 70 assists in 60 games. Kucherov has 11 power play goals with 28 man advantage assists to add to his impressive stats.

If he does score 135 points, it would surpass Joe Thornton‘s 125 points in 2005-06.

It seems that he just can’t be stopped… by any team. In his last five games, he has shown his dominating offence by tallying seven goals and 11 assists for 18 points.

The Tampa Bay Lightning are coasting in the Eastern Conference with a 45-11-4 record for 94 points. They are favourites to go deep in the playoffs, and even to win the Cup.

According to hockeyreference.com the Lightning are projected to finish with 122 points with the best chance of winning the Cup at 18 percent.

With a scorer like Kucherov, the Tampa Bay Lightning look to be a formidable team to take it all. All that is undetermined at this point is how dominating their final season totals will be.

The same goes for Kucherov who is leading his closest contender Patrick Kane by nine points at this writing.

Patrick Kane Comeback

Patrick Kane is on target to score 120 points if he stays at his current pace of scoring. He could exceed his best NHL scoring campaign since the 2015-16 when he had 46 goals, 60 assists for 106 points and secured the Art Ross Trophy.

Back then, the Chicago Blackhawks made the playoffs but were eliminated by the St. Louis Blues in a tough seven-game series.

This season things have been tough for the Blackhawks as they still are fighting for a playoff spot trailing the Minnesota Wild by a single point in the wild-card race.

Without Patrick Kane’s contributions, this season may have had more dismal results. Last season, the ‘Hawks suffered their first non-appearance in the playoffs since 2007-08.

Kane is almost single-handedly carrying his team on his back in an earnest attempt to not repeat last year’s disappointing finish.

There are times where, just like Kucherov, he seems unstoppable. He has one of the best pair of hands in the league and a consummate playmaker as well as a scorer. Perhaps the best defence to deploy against him is to NOT allow him the puck… but that’s easier said than done.

Playoff Scoring is There

Both Nikita Kucherov and Patrick Kane aren’t any easier to contain in the playoffs.

Kucherov has 59 points in 62 games, while Kane has 123 points in 127 games.

It would be quite a matchup if Tampa Bay met Chicago in the Finals. The scoring exhibited by both of these All-Star players would be worth the price of admission and then some.

So, as the Lightning can relax and wait to see who they will be up against in the postseason, the Blackhawks are still fighting and clawing for a wild-card spot. They have gone 9-2 in their last 11 games but they didn’t expect the St. Louis Blues to go on an insane 10-game winning streak either.

One thing is certain if you need some scoring Kucherov or Kane can certainly help with that.

 

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