The NHL, Cocaine, Kuznetsov, and the Fans

News broke early Friday that the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) had suspended Capitals player Evgeny Kuznetsov from play for four years because of his use of the illegal drug cocaine. On May 31, 2019, following the emergence of a video of Kuznetsov sitting next to what appeared to be rows of cocaine, he issued the following statement: “I would like to address the video of me that appeared online on Monday. While I have never taken illegal drugs in my life and career, I would like to publicly apologize to the Capitals, my teammates, our fans and everyone else, for putting myself in a bad situation. This was a hard lesson for me to learn. Continue reading “The NHL, Cocaine, Kuznetsov, and the Fans”

One Year Later – Kuzy and Exorcising the Demons

It’s hard to believe that a year has passed since one of the most memorable, as well as one of the most stress-relieving moments that most Caps fans can remember occurred. “The Save” is up there as well, but the anniversary for that is a month away.

It’s early in the first overtime of Game 6 of the Eastern Conference semi-finals, Evgeny Kuznetsov is skating straight towards Penguins’ netminder Matt Murray with Pens’ defensemen Brian Dumoulin and Kris Letang a little behind to Kuzy’s left and right.  A moment later after a quick deke, Kuzy deposits the puck between Murray’s pads into Pittsburgh’s net and glides towards and then along the boards. Continue reading “One Year Later – Kuzy and Exorcising the Demons”

The Kuznetsov Concern Was Real

All through the playoffs fans and the media covering the Washington Capitals expressed concerns about Evgeny Kuznetsov’s performance. By the time the Caps exited the playoffs it was clear that they were right to be concerned.

Maybe if they made it to the second round the Caps would have seen a resurgence in his performance. In game seven he finally got a goal. Sure he had five assists in the series but that isn’t why the Capitals signed him to a rather hearty contract last summer.

In the exit interviews on Friday, he acknowledged that his play was inconsistent. He didn’t want to talk about next season- he had some spicy comments about that!

Even the man who makes the real decisions about the team, GM Brian MacLellen basically said that beyond the top line, the team lacked the desperation they had last season. The GM was clearly aggravated that some of the best players didn’t show up and play at their highest level in the playoffs. Specifically, when asked about Kuznetsov he said that he was frustrated by the performance of a potential top ten player and his lack of consistency. It is going to take a special touch to motivate a strong-willed player like Kuznetsov. It isn’t clear if Todd Reirden is the one to do that.

It will be interesting to see how he performs when he is back on Russia’s team in the IIHF Worlds and if we see the old Kuzy show up. For now, he isn’t going anywhere unless he wants to move. Given that he just bought a couple pieces of property in McLean, Virginia it is doubtful he wants to be anywhere else but on the Capitals roster.

Do We Really Need to Worry About Kuznetsov?

We have been watching Twitter and the comments about Evgeny Kuznetsov’s less than impressive showing in the playoffs so far. Should we be worried with what some are calling a lackluster play? Continue reading “Do We Really Need to Worry About Kuznetsov?”

T.J. Oshie Records 500th Career Point, Caps Tame Sharks 5-1

T.J. Oshie scored twice, earning a milestone 500th career point, to lead the Washington Capitals to a 5-1 win over the San Jose Sharks on Thursday night in the second game of their season-long six-game road trip. The Caps allowed a goal to begin the game but ripped off five unanswered to exact revenge on a Sharks team that stunned the Capitals’ in D.C. on January 22nd with a goal in the last second to tie it and then go on to win in overtime.  Continue reading “T.J. Oshie Records 500th Career Point, Caps Tame Sharks 5-1”

Caps End Homestand on High Note Before Falling in Columbus

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Washington Capitals wrapped up their season-long six game homestand and kicked off a long road trip this week. On Saturday, the Caps overcame a 3-1 and 4-2 deficit against the Florida Panthers. They rallied to force the tie but ultimately fell short in overtime 5-4. The Capitals rebounded in the final game of the homestand on Monday night with a 6-4 win over the Los Angeles Kings before kicking off a six-game road trip in Columbus where they were blanked by the Blue Jackets 3-0.

Continue reading “Caps End Homestand on High Note Before Falling in Columbus”

Bring Out the Bird! Evgeny Kuznetsov Delivers in Overtime, Caps Top Avs 4-3

This was a game full of de ja vus. In the end, an Alex Ovechkin feed to Evgeny Kuznetsov for the breakaway that was shades of Game 6 of the Caps second round series in Pittsburgh last year that would be the difference. Kuznetsov came through with the overtime goal as the Washington Capitals defeated the Colorado Avalanche 4-3 in overtime at Capital One Arena in D.C. In the midst of a season-long six game homestand following the all-star break and bye week, the Capitals have now won three of their last four games after a season-long seven game winless drought entering the break.

Continue reading “Bring Out the Bird! Evgeny Kuznetsov Delivers in Overtime, Caps Top Avs 4-3”

Capitals Defeat Canucks 3-2 with Alex Ovechkin Achieving Another Milestone

The Washington Capitals defeated the Vancouver Canucks 3-2 on Tuesday night at Capital One Arena. Coming off the break, the Caps have won two of their last three games to pull closer in the Metropolitan Division race. Their record improves to 28-18-6 and thanks to losses by the New York Islanders and Pittsburgh Penguins, they are now in second place just two points behind the first place Islanders.  Continue reading “Capitals Defeat Canucks 3-2 with Alex Ovechkin Achieving Another Milestone”

Bye Bye Losing! Evgeny Kuznetsov Comes Through with Clutch Goal to End Caps Seven-Game Winless Drought

On Friday night, Washington Capitals hockey returned to the District of Columbia after an All-Star break complemented by a bye week. The lengthy break did the defending Stanley Cup champions a great favor, for they entered the period of rest losers of seven straight, although a few counted as OT in the standings. They came close the last time they were at home but got robbed by the Sharks with a last second game tying goal. This time, they wouldn’t need overtime.  Continue reading “Bye Bye Losing! Evgeny Kuznetsov Comes Through with Clutch Goal to End Caps Seven-Game Winless Drought”

Caps Fall to Blue Jackets 2-1 in Overtime

In a close and exciting Metropolitan Division rivalry clash inside Capital One Arena, the latest chapter in the Washington Capitals and Columbus Blue Jackets rivalry saw a low-scoring, goalie heavy classic. The Caps ultimately came up short in overtime 2-1 after scoring late in the game to tie it and come away with a point.  Continue reading “Caps Fall to Blue Jackets 2-1 in Overtime”