Jon Cooper is the Lightning's head coach. He follows that practice in regard to Nikita Kucherov. Kucherov suffered a serious injury in his first shift against the New York Islanders in Game 6. He did not return to that match.
Cooper was twice asked to update Kucherov. In both cases, Cooper replied, "No update."
Kucherov is the most prolific Lightning player this postseason. Kucherov scored 27 points with five goals and 22 assists over 17 games. Brayden Point is the next Lightning player, with 20 points on 14 goals as well as six assists.
Kucherov cannot be replaced and Cooper isn't convinced that the team will need to replace him in Game 7.
When asked about what would happen if Kucherov was not there, he replied, "Well, it's too early to talk about that."
Anthony Cirelli filled in the vacuum left by Kucherov Wednesday.
It is not ideal to have your entire team when you play the final four teams and you are up against the best in the league. Cooper said that it is not ideal, but it does open doors for men and last night's game Cirelli was a great example of this.
In that game, he scored one goal and one assist.
Cooper explained, "You plug men in and, as I said, it is not new for them."
Cooper said that the Lightning were able to survive the entire regular season without Kucherov's cleverness and they will adapt if forced to.
Cooper said, "You just move on." And, Cooper added, "If you win the game, it's a great story."