Why the Capitals should give Evgeny Kuznetsov another chance

Evgeny Kuznetsov, Washington Capitals Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Evgeny Kuznetsov, Washington Capitals Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /

Yesterday I pissed off a lot of Washington Capitals fans when I wrote the reasons about why the team should move on from Evgeny Kuznetsov. Today I will dissect why they should give him another chance. I like to get things from all angles and I’ll give you the short and long answers in this one.

The short answer is simple: bye bye Peter Laviolette who could soon become the New York Rangers problem and hello Spencer Carbery.

The long answer is why we have this post.

I think one of the biggest things Carbery can accomplish in his first season is retap into the potential that Kuznetsov has. We’ve seen what he can do when he’s consistent. The 2018 Cup run being a perfect example of that consistency.

Carbery has a reputation in the minor league hockey ranks as being an engaging coach. It helped his players over the years buy in to his system and philosophies. He’ll also do the little things to help anybody succeed.

Carbery summed it up perfectly at his introductory press conference at the beginning of the month saying, “the connected term is something I’ll use a lot with our group.”

A hands on coach may be exactly what Kuznetsov needs.

His relationship with Peter Laviolette was described as an “honest” one but Laviolette took the joy out of the game for Kuzy. If Carbery and Kuznetsov can get along you can book the center having a breakout revenge season once again maybe even better than the last one.

The last coaching era saw Kuznetsov get scratched for disciplinary reasons early on and this past season saw him get demoted to the bottom six even to the fourth line at some points.

Carbery added:

"“I think my job coming in here, we have a highly motivated group of veteran players, leadership group, and we also have a group of players that it’s my job to bring along into that group… you’ve got a group of veteran players that feel like they got a bit of a chip on their shoulder and they’re ready to prove something, that we’re still a very strong team in the National Hockey League. That’s what I’m trying to bring together and make sure that we compete at a real high level.”"

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It may be worth it to give Kuznetsov another chance. It is likely what they will and should do.