Steven Stamkos paused. The spotlight has been shining on Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov – No. 1 and 2 in scoring – since they sprinted out of the gate as the fifth duo in the last 25 years to each net at least 20 points in the opening month of the season. The Tampa Bay Lightning teammates’ dominance has continued. Kucherov leads the league in goals (15) and Stamkos paces the pack with as many assists (21) as the No. 3 scorer has points. Kucherov, 24, has at least one goal and one assist in five of his last eight games. Stamkos, 27, has nine multi-point games already. But don’t sleep on linemate Vladislav Namestnikov, Stamkos said. “I know he flies under the radar, but he’s a huge part of our line,” Stamkos told reporters in San Jose. “It’s fun. And we work hard as a line to get better. Vlady is a great player and he makes our line better.” Rapidly approaching the quarter pole of the season, it’s apparent we incorrectly ranked the NHL’s top lines last month. Kucherov, Namestnikov and Stamkov – err, Stamkos – is hockey’s top trio. And it isn’t particularly close.
Tampa’s top line chasing NHL history
TSN | Nov 9