Washington Capitals: Eleven Reasons To Be Thankful

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Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports


I’m grateful for Evgeny Kuznetsov – a fast-rising star among Caps fans and all of professional hockey. What Kuzy brings to the team feels reminiscent of everything we enjoyed from having Sergei Federov on the team (minus the savvy NHL veteran bit): He’s dynamic and skilled, keeping defenders guessing what he’ll do next with the puck. He’s playing a tall role for the team, bringing in a serious scoring threat on our second line and power play unit. He’s a game changer, for real.

That’s without even mentioning what magic we’ve seen him do for the skaters he’s shared a line with. His gorgeous no-look passes are quickly becoming a trademark on his highlight reel. Remember this one from late last season against the Bruins on national television coverage? Tuukka Rask (who is a very intelligent goaltender) had no clue how vulnerable Kuznetsov was capable of making opposing backstops. Look at him struggle to locate the incoming puck. What a brilliant goal.

If we finally make a deep post-season run this season, it’s Kuznetsov who’s our Ace in the hole. Teams have shown adjustments for taking away Ovechkin’s one-timer from above the dot. It was bound to happen. However, most of the league is still unaware just how high the ceiling on Kuzy actually is.

The league will see enough of his exceptional play to warrant extra consideration, but for now – he feels like a well kept secret weapon. He might just be a player that could bust things wide open in the playoffs.

Also, as a fan who doesn’t speak a lick of Russian, I wanted to congratulate (and thank) Kuznetsov on picking up English so quickly. Plenty of hockey players have come over from Russia and the KHL, collected a big contract and done just enough to satisfy the demands their teams have put upon them. Evgeny has undoubtedly gone the extra mile since being here.

He’s embracing the team. He’s embracing the fans. He’s even embracing the spotlight. What a great team mate to have on our Washington Capitals family.

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