Evgeny Kuznetsov will bounce back in 2023-24

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

We all make mistakes. Every single one of us does. Evgeny Kuznetsov of the Washington Capitals has been known to make mistakes. So does Alex Ovechkin. Heck so does everyone else. But for some reason Kuznetsov’s mistakes have been magnifying.

On the ice, well every Caps player makes a mistake. You turn the puck over. You have a shot and you don’t take it. You have the look and you miss. If you’re the goalie you don’t stop the puck in time.

Off the ice is why Kuznetsov’s on ice mistakes seem more magnified. I’ll go backwards over here since you’ve seen it the other way around here and every other Caps blog.

Kuznetsov along with Ilya Samsonov show up late to a team function. Peter Laviolette, coach at the time, did not play around and fined and suspended them. You also had Kuznetsov’s battles with COVID but that’s also a pandemic and sometimes things like that can be out of your control.

But then there’s the big one and that’s what’s been causing divide among Caps fans on whether Kuznetsov stays or goes. That is when Kuznetsov got caught on a viral video next to a drug that appeared to be c——.

Because of this illegal drug, whether he was using it or not, it appeared the background of the video which was still a bad look. Kuznetsov got suspended for a few games in the NHL that season. Slap on the wrist.

But the big blow came from Russia as he was banned from international completion for four years. That just lifted this year.

The Caps are at a crossroads right now with their center. Do they keep him or do they trade him?

Forget what you heard from the back and fourth reports about whether he wants out or not. Say he’s still around. I can see Kuznetsov bouncing back.

But how? Simple. He needs another chance. Just like we all do when we make mistakes. And when that chance comes which will be this upcoming season, Kuznetsov has a chance to breakout and be the center fans known and loved.

He doesn’t have to put up 2018 numbers. He can simply bounce back by being more consistent and in the zone. That will be easier with a new coach ready to put his hands on a lineup mixed with players young and (mostly) old.

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If Kuznetsov does this, let’s set the number at 25 for goals. But he has to be consistent from game 1 to 82. We don’t see that overnight. We see that one game at a time. We haven’t seen that since the Cup. No better time than now.