Russian lightning leaders Andrey Vasilevsky, Mikhail Sergachev and Nikita Kucherov are fighting for the third Stanley Cup in a row and are unlikely to think about individual achievements during the final series with Colorado. However, almost every game is marked by some new personal record of our hockey players, and while they are fighting for the team result, we will be happy to tell how our guys are rewriting history again and again.
Andrey Vasilevsky: the best Russian goaltender in the NHL playoffs and the record holder for saves
Andrei Vasilevsky even in the last playoffs bypassed Yevgeny Nabokov and became the leader among Russian goalkeepers in terms of the number of matches in the Stanley Cup, and the second game of the final with Colorado was the 100th anniversary for the Big Cat. And very soon, at least one of our goalkeepers will be able to reach this significant mark.
|Russian NHL goaltenders with the most Stanley Cup appearances|
In the current playoffs, Vasilevsky has already won 14 victories, bringing the total score of triumphs in Stanley Cup matches to 63. The well-known goalkeeper Curtis Joseph has the same number – the Canadian shares 13th place with the Russian in the list of most often winning goalkeepers in the history of the play off NHL.
Vasilevsky can already catch up with the legendary Dominik Hasek: for this, Tampa with Andrei at the gate needs to win two more matches, that is, take the third Stanley Cup in a row. Well, the 66th victory will make the Ufa pupil absolutely the best among Europeans.
Other heights will be able to submit to Andrey if he manages to hold at least three more playoffs at the same consistently victorious level. But how to catch up with the record holder, Patrick Roy, is not yet very clear.
|Most winning goaltenders in NHL history|
However, Vasilevsky has already surpassed the legend of Montreal and Colorado in some ways. Within the framework of one playoff, Rua never made more than 601 saves, and Andrei already has 665 reflected shots. And this is not the best indicator of a Russian!
Before the end of the current Stanley Cup draw, Vasilevsky should surpass his personal record set two years ago, but it will be difficult for him to even catch up with Anton Khudobin and get into the top 3, even if there is a seventh game in this final and Colorado does not reduce throwing activity.
|Goaltender with the most saves in a single playoff|
|one||Tim Thomas (Boston)||2010/2011||25/798|
|2||Kirk McLean (Vancouver)||1993/1994||24/761|
|3||Anton Khudobin (Dallas)||2019/2020||25/744|
|four||Tuukka Rask (Boston)||2012/2013||22/715|
|5||Jonathan Quick (Kings)||2013/2014||26/705|
|6||Ron Hextall (Philadelphia)||1986/1987||26/698|
|7||Oli Kolzig (Washington)||1997/1998||21/696|
|eight||Tuukka Rask (Boston)||2018/2019||24/693|
|9||Andrei Vasilevsky (Tampa)||2019/2020||25/686|
|ten||John Vanbiesbrook (Florida)||1995/1996||22/685|
|eleven||Henrik Lundqvist (Rangers)||2013/2014||25/683|
|12||Jordan Binnington (St. Louis)||2018/2019||26/678|
|13||Igor Shesterkin (Rangers)||2021/2022||twenty/669|
|fourteen||Andrei Vasilevsky (Tampa)||2021/2022||22/665|
But Vasilevsky did not remain without absolute records associated with saves in the current playoffs. For example, a Russian became the first goalkeeper in NHL history with 600+ saves in three Stanley Cup games in a row. In the 2019/2020 season, Andriy saved 686 shots, a year later – 655, and now he already has 665 saves. Previous best streaks have been held by Fleury and Belfour, who have saved at least 550 shots in three consecutive playoffs.
But even if you do not set the serial filter, then Vasilevsky is still the NHL record holder. Previously, only Boston’s Tuukka Rask managed two career playoffs with 600+ saves. The Russian, as you understand, already has three such playoffs, which makes him a truly unique goalkeeper.
In terms of the total number of saves in the NHL playoffs, Vasilevsky, of course, is still significantly behind the legends of the past. However, Andrei is only 28 years old, he barely exchanged the second hundred matches in the Stanley Cup, so his current 17th place looks very worthy and promising.
|Goaltenders with the most saves in NHL playoff history|
America has already recognized the greatness of Russian goalkeepers. Now two more talents are going to conquer the NHL
Mikhail Sergachev: gave the best season in his career, bypassed Fetisov
Less attention is riveted to the defender Sergachev than to Vasilevsky or Kucherov, and it’s harder for Mikhail, who is not the most productive, to get into various ratings. However, this season is already the most successful for the Nizhnekamsk hockey player in terms of personal statistics: Sergachev scored 48 (9 + 39) points for the regular season and playoffs.
8 assists in the current playoffs allowed the Russian to bring the total score of assists in the Stanley Cup to 22 – so Sergachev became the second assistant defender in the history of Tampa. Mikhail beat Ryan McDonagh, but he is very far from the first place. That position is taken by the superb Victor Hedman, who already has 85 passes to his credit, and this number is increasing in almost every match.
Interestingly, not the most productive Sergachev confidently enters the top 30 Russian scorers in the history of the NHL playoffs. Recently, Mikhail, with his 30th (8 + 22) points, bypassed, for example, Ilya Kovalchuk and Vyacheslav Fetisov and now shares 25th place in this list with Sergey Berezin.
Well, if we take only Russian defenders, then here Sergachev is in sixth place and with excellent prospects to enter the top 3 soon.
|The most productive Russian defenders in the NHL playoffs|
Kucherov: caught up with Gretzky and Lemieux, will soon set a European NHL record
Finally, Nikita Kucherov. The third hockey player in the history of the NHL, who managed to score 90+ points in three playoffs in a row – the company here for the Russian is the greatest Gretzky and Lemieux. Fourth player in the league after Gretzky, Bossy and Trottier to score 25+ points in the Stanley Cup for three years in a row.
“Tampa” – beats, Kucherov – again a genius! Pushed the Russian legend and came up with the winning goal
Nikita is once again having a great playoff, trying to drag Tampa on him and at the same time moving up the list of top scorers in the NHL playoffs. So far, Nikita is 28th, but already in this draw, Kuch can aim at at least 26th place.
|Top scorers in NHL playoff history|
As can be seen from the table, Kucherov is the third Russian scorer in Stanley Cup matches. In the current playoffs, Nikita overtook Alexander Ovechkin.
According to Russian goals, Kucherov is still far from Ovechkin (72 goals) – the leader of Tampa has 52 goals. But this is the same amount as Sergei Fedorov managed to shoot, who spent 50 cup matches more. Between Ovechkin and Kucherov in the list of Russian snipers is Evgeni Malkin – 67 goals.
Kucherov already has 26 Stanley Cup games with 2+ points – this is a repeat of Jaromir Jagr’s record for extreme forwards. In addition, Nikita is the best scorer in Tampa history on the power play (18 goals vs. 17 for Stamkos). In total, the Russian has 64 (18 + 46) points when selling extra in playoff matches, and this is the 21st result for the entire existence of the NHL. While Kucherov shares his position with Bobby Smith and Denis Savard, but very soon Nikita should bypass Jagr and Kurri. Unless, of course, “Tampa” will correct the majority in the final series with “Colorado”.
|Top scoring NHL players on powerplay|
|one||Wayne Gretzky||125 (35+90)|
|2||Niklas Lidström||111 (30+81)|
|3||Al McInnis||97 (26+71)|
|four||Mark Messier||92 (24+68)|
|5||Ray Burke||89 (15+74)|
|6||Paul Coffey||87 (21+66)|
|7||Evgeni Malkin||81 (28+53)|
|eight||Denis Potvin||81 (28+53)|
|9||Joe Sakic||80 (27+53)|
|ten||Mario Lemieux||78 (29+49)|
|13||Sidney Crosby||75 (20+55)|
|17||Sergei Fedorov||69 (15+54)|
|eighteen||Larry Murphy||67 (20+47)|
|19||Jari Kurri||66 (25+41)|
|twenty||Jaromir Jagr||65 (24+41)|
|21||Nikita Kucherov||64 (18+46)|
So Tampa’s third consecutive super-successful playoffs not only brings the Lightning closer to the title of the first team-dynasty in the age of the salary cap, but also turns the leaders of the Lightning into the status of living legends. And it’s incredibly cool that among them there are three Russian hockey players at once.