Predicting the Evgeny Kuznetsov revenge tour

Evgeny Kuznetsov, Washington Capitals (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Evgeny Kuznetsov, Washington Capitals (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

Alright Washington Capitals fans. Yesterday we predicted Alex Ovechkin’s numbers. Today we are going to tackle what Evgeny Kuznetsov has in store for his upcoming revenge tour.

Kuznetsov was the subject of trade rumors since the end of last season. Part of those rumors included he wanted out. Then in the summer we heard the Capitals and Nashville Predators almost had a deal in place until something fell through.

Then Mike Vogel came out with an article in the middle of the summer on the state of the team. He notes that Brian MacLellan usually accommodates requests from players that wanted to leave.

Then things got even more weird when Kuznetsov himself told Russian reporters that him wanting out of DC is “not necessarily true”.

It all adds up to this. Kuznetsov is back in town and the Capitals are going into training camp needing a big year from Kuznetsov. To really dive in let’s look at his numbers from the last two season.

In 2021 22 Kuzy had a good year. 24 goals and 54 assists for 78 points will do that. But what this stat line doesn’t tell you is that we saw a breakout Kuznetsov in the first half of that season and passenger Kuznetsov the second half.

When I define passenger I mean those players who are on the ice but we don’t really notice them. They tend to be invisible in the games and alas, that’s why we don’t notice them.

Last season he was a passenger from start to finish. No first half beast mode and second half passenger. Just all passenger. He finished with 12 goals and 43 assists for 55 points. As the season took a turn for the worse the trade rumors started to heat up.

I think Spencer Carbery is the right man for the job of tapping into his star center’s potential. He seems like he’s someone that will sit down with Kuznetsov and figure out from his center what his strengths and weaknesses are.

If Peter Laviolette was still coach, Kuznetsov is long gone by now. He’s probably sticking around to give the new bench boss a shot. If the Carbery experiment works here’s what I can see Kuznetsov do.

Alex Ovechkin will score 50 goals in 2023-24. light. Hot

26 goals and 60 assists for 86 points would be what he needs. I think that can be progress.