Nikita Kucherov Out With Undisclosed Injury

Nikita Kucherov out indefinitely because of an undisclosed injury. His injury status was updated on Monday afternoon.

Nikita Kucherov Out Indefinitely with Injury

Tampa Bay Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov will be out indefinitely after an injury that occurred during their last game. In a 2-1 win against the Washington Capitals on Saturday, he seemed to favour his groin area after a play midway through the third period. 

While chasing a puck, Kucherov appeared to dodge Capitals forward Garnet Hathaway and then grabbed his groin area, hunching over in obvious pain. Kucherov slowly skated off the ice, even getting a push from Washington forward Evgeny Kuznetsov as he skated by the Capitals bench, then hobbled down the tunnel. The former Hart Trophy winner did not return and head coach Jon Cooper later stated that the injury is “definitely not a day-to-day thing”.

Kucherov underwent off-season hip surgery last year and subsequently missed the 2020-21 regular season. The Russian came back in the postseason where he helped lead the Lightning to back-to-back championships and the franchise’s third cup overall.

Going Forward

This injury comes as a major blow for the Lightning and a frustrating setback for Kucherov. He missed the entire regular season last year recovering from surgery. The star winger showed no signs of rust upon his return. Kucherov has put up eights goals and 32 points in 23 games.

The native of Maykop, Russia picked up where he left off last season and started the 2021-22 campaign with one goal and three assists in three games. Tampa Bay did a great job marching through the regular season in the absence of Kucherov last year. However, that doesn’t make this loss any easier. The defending champions are in a top-heavy Atlantic Division and will be in tough against the Bruins, Panthers, and Leafs. 

There aren’t many details on the extent of the injury yet, so we will have to wait and see what unfolds for Kucherov. One wonders how long the Lightning will have to tread water without the elite winger in the lineup.

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