On Wednesday night, the Lightning beat the Montreal Canadiens 1-0 on to end the final in five games and captain Steven Stamkos hoisted the Stanley Cup in front of 18,110 fans in Tampa.
Things got wild.
Nikita Kucherov was handed the Cup, partied on the ice with fans as he danced with some with the glass in between them, and then showed up to a postgame interview via Zoom shirtless, enjoying a beverage, completely unplugged.
He was heavily criticized for the latter, especially with what he said as he called out fans in Montreal for being too excited after the Habs managed to win Game 4.
“I didn’t want to go back to Montreal,” Kucherov said. “The fans in Montreal, come on. They acted like they won the Stanley Cup last game. Are you kidding me? Are you kidding me? Their final was last series.”
Clearly, the guy was already on a party roll, as he told a reporter to “buy a new microphone” when he couldn’t decipher a question. At one point he sent someone away to fetch champagne.
While he has been under fire for his lack of decorum, fans are finding out that the Russian sniper pulled quite a classy move during Cup celebration.
As he was skating and enjoying the moment on the ice with his teammates, he pulled out his phone and called someone very important. He called the great Igor Larionov to let him know how much he meant to the kid in him, now a two-time Stanley Cup champion. Larionov’s son shared the information on social media:
“I was at dinner with my dad yesterday and he got an call from a random number. He picks it up and it’s Nikita Kucherov with the Stanley Cup. Kuch shouts “ты мой кумир, спасибо” about 6 times. The translation of that is “you’re my idol, thank you”. Coolest thing witnessed!”
You have to admit that is pretty cool of Kucherov to make that call to his idol. Don’t we all wish we could do that?
Gives me goosebumps thinking about it.
Larionov is also from Russia, he won the Stanley Cup three times as a member of the Detroit Red Wings in 1997, 1998 and 2002. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2008, becoming the sixth Russian-born inductee, and the fifth-ever player.
Does it forgive Kuch for all the lack of decorum in the night? It might just do that…