The Three Most Important Capitals Players This Season

These 3 Caps could very well decide the first round series
Charlie Lindgren, Washington Capitals
Charlie Lindgren, Washington Capitals / Scott Taetsch/GettyImages
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People always tend to be very fascinated on who is the best or who is the most important player in a league or on a team. Almost all season long you will hear fans and commentators debate or even argue on who should be nominated for awards. It's no different for the Washington Capitals and people around this team.

Right now you will have people claiming this Capital should be up for this award. This person should be up for that award. "Why will no one talk about one of my favorite players and how great he is?"

Well, maybe we will today. Very rarely does one person drag a team to success. Especially in hockey and in the NHL. More often, you will have a group of players that bring a team to where they want to go. I think that is the case for the Washington Capitals. Now we will look at who those three guys are.

Charlie Lindgren

Lets not bury the lead. If we were going to give out a MVC, Most Valuable Capital, I don't know how you would ever even consider giving it to anyone other than Charlie Lindgren. I even debated leaving him off of this list because he deserves his own list. At the end of the day, here he is and we'll talk a little bit about him.

I don't believe in tearing somebody down to lift someone else up. You see that all the time in sports. "This guys sucks because my favorite player is great!" But! The reason Lindgren was so important to the Capitals this season is because his goalie partner, who is "supposed to be" the Caps starter has not performed well, especially this season.

This season Darcy Kuemper had a goals against average of 3.31 and a save percentage of .890. I've said it a lot, but this is a guy the Capitals brought in to replace their two younger, cheaper goalies. The results simply have not been there. Without Lindgren performing well this season the Capitals would have been sunk.

Lindgren's stats, honestly are not that great. That meaning, when you compare his numbers to other NHL goalies he isn't even in the top ten in most numbers. But this is why you can't always look at numbers and make your judgements off of that.

Among goalies who played 1,500 minutes or more Lindgren ranked 16th in GAA at 2.67. He was around 15th in save percentage at .911%. I say around because there are a lot of tied numbers in there as well. Three guys were tied at .911 for example.

I was actually a little surprised he was ranked as far down as he was in high danger save percentage. This season Lindgren had a .819 high danger save percentage. Among the 50 goalies who played 1,500 minutes or more that was only the 17th best. He also only had to face the 17th most high danger shots against, so it's not like he had to face more than the other guys bringing his percentage down.

I think more than anyting you have to compare Lindgren to Kuemper. This season Kuemper ranked 42nd in GAA, 48th in save percentage and 35th in high danger save percentage, his number being .795%.

Another interesting number to note. Lindgren had a Goals Saved Above Average of 11.25, which was 12th best among these goalies. Kuemper was ranked 45th and was -12.18.

There isn't much more to say. Without Lindgren, the Caps are not close to a playoff spot, let alone in. He is the MVC.