The art of Evgeny Kuznetsov's shootout

Nobody in the NHL does the shootout like Evgeny Kuznetsov

Evgeny Kuznetsov, Washington Capitals
Evgeny Kuznetsov, Washington Capitals / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
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Washington Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov has more than enough of his share of strengths and weakness on the ice. The weakness is some games you don't notice him. The strenghths include his Harry Potter like passes and some good finishes near the net. But the biggest strength of all... the Kuzy shootout.

Kuznetsov was not present at Monday's practice at MedStar Capitals Iceplex due to "personal reasons". While Tom Wilson represented the Caps at the NHL All Star Game, Kuznetsov spent his bye week in Miami with Dmitry Orlov and their famiies.

Kuznetsov played in all 13 Caps games in Juanary as he had a goal and five assists for six points. He was the only member of the Capitals to not be present for the post state. Capitals coach Spencer Carbery said the team will provide an update later today.

As for the shootout, fans who watch Captitals games frequently are well aware of the "Kuzy crawl". It's where Kuznetsov drives to the net back and fourth with the puck on his stick as slowly as possible. The second the goal flinches that goaiie wishes he didn't.

Kuznetsov has a 44.4 percent shootout percentage. He told Sammi Silber of The Hockey News, "I know peope may not like, but you know, so far it's been working for me."

Kuznetsov is definitely the game's best at shootouts. It's unclear whether shootouts will be here to stay in future regular seasons or a thing of the past. But I'm sue Kuznetsov will be retired by the time B happens.

With still just under a full second half of the season to go, the Caps need Kuznetsov now more than ever to step up not just in the shootout but at five on five play as well.

The Capitals are back in action tomorrow night against the Montreal Canadiens.

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