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Kucherov leading Lightning in playoffs after recovery from hip surgery
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Blake Coleman
Ryan Callahan
Ben Thomas
Brayden Point
Yanni Gourde
Julien BriseBois
Jon Cooper
David Savard
Kucherov is."I



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"You get home from the game and guys are feeling good and I'm like, 'Tomorrow is the same thing.' I didn't get excited."He is now.The rehab and a regular season missed are all worth it to Kucherov after he has returned and is headlining the Stanley Cup Semifinals with the Lightning tied against the New York Islanders going into Game 3 of the best-of-7 series on Thursday (8 p.m. ET; USA, CBC, SN, TVAS).Video: NYI@TBL, Gm2: Kucherov sets up Point's opening goalKucherov leads the Stanley Cup Playoffs with 22 points (five goals, 17 assists) in 13 games. He was cleared to take contact in early May. He recovered quicker than Point, Gourde, Callahan and Thomas."Not only did he come back faster," BriseBois said, "it looks like he's playing at the high level that he's accustomed us to over the years."Kucherov tried to keep his mind fresh during his rehab by staying around the team as often as he could when they were home."Hockey players, their shelf life is their 20s, and if you're lucky you get to play into your early 30s now, and if you lose a whole year that's got to be tough," Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said. He tried to help himself by paying close attention to the games, seeing plays he didn't previously realize were available and gaining a better understanding of how defenses play against the Lightning."I think I got better," Kucherov said.His home life was a big part of his rehab too, getting to spend time with his son, Max, which he normally would not be able to do during the regular season."Being with my family, seeing my son grow, that helped me a lot to get away from the game a little bit and thinking too much of it," Kucherov said. Kucherov also led last postseason with 34 points (seven goals, 27 assists) in 25 playoff games, when Tampa Bay won the Stanley Cup."Missing a whole year, you ask any player, you don't want to be that guy," Kucherov said.

As said here by Dan Rosen