3 Capitals players who must step up following Evgeny Kuznetsov trade

The Caps welcome Kuzy and the Canes to town Friday nigh
Evgeny Kuznetsov, T.J. Oshie, Washington Capitals
Evgeny Kuznetsov, T.J. Oshie, Washington Capitals / Ethan Miller/GettyImages
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Connor McMichael, Washington Capitals
Connor McMichael, Washington Capitals / Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports

#2 Connor McMichael

Connor McMichael has needed to step up for the longest time and lately the young center from the 2019 draft has delivered. The first rounder has fully graduated to the NHL after he helped lead the Bears to their Calder Cup a year ago.

After a long scoring slump, McMichael has three goals in his last five games. That included a goal in last night's losing effort against the Toronto Maple Leafs as well as goals in back to back nights on the road trip in a loss to Edmonton and a win over Seattle.

McMichael now has 15 goals and 13 assists for 28 points in 66 games. Now he centers the top line with Alex Ovechkin and typically T.J. Oshie though he was with Mike Sgarbossa last night. McMichael can be one of those X factors should the Caaps qualify for a playoff spot. Though now they have to chase the Red Wings again as the Caps are a point back of the second wild card spot.

To make matters worse, the Red Wings play the Islanders tonight so the Caps need to win tomorrow against the Hurricanes either way.