Triple Threat

Tampa Bay's Triplets have been dominant ...
June 01, 2015

WHEN LIGHTNING COACH Jon Cooper put Tyler Johnson, 24, Ondrej Palat, 24, and Nikita Kucherov, 21, on one line in October, the threesome showed an intuitive connection, prompting Cooper to compare them to triplets. Now the trio is propelling Tampa Bay through the playoffs: Through Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals (the Lightning held a 3--2 lead), the trio had scored half of the team's postseason goals. The kicker is that two of the three were not highly regarded prospects, and the third is among the lowest earners on the team.

[The following text appears within 3 charts. Please see hardcopy or PDF for actual charts.]

GOALS

An even 50% through Monday...

(TEAM TOTAL: 50)

12 GOALS

7 GOALS

6 GOALS

SALARY

... while taking up about 11% of the payroll.

(TEAM TOTAL: $66.25 MILLION)

$3.3 MILLION

$700,000

$3.3 MILLION

DRAFT

Johnson went unpicked for three years before signing as a free agent while Palat lingered for two.

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

FREE AGENT

58th PICK

208th PICK

KEY

TYLER JOHNSON

NIKITA KUCHEROV

ONDREJ PALAT

THREE CHARTS

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)