On Tuesday night in Pittsburgh, Evgeny Kuznetsov had his first prime scoring chance in the NHL. After Karl Alzner unleashed a rare bomb from the point, Penguins goaltender Marc-André Fleury blocked the shot with his pad and kicked the puck back out to the slot.
There Kuznetsov stood, his eyes growing wide. Like a dude who had already scored 20 goals in the league before, Kuzya patiently gathered the puck in, put it on his forehead, and chipped it hard towards the net.
What happened next was cruel.
The puck hit the post and then got kicked away by Fleury’s skate blade. There would be no milestone moment that night.
While, for Caps fans, the miss was excruciating — even more so because the Caps lost 2-0 — it appears that it was even more painful for the person actually shooting the puck.
In an early morning Instagram post on Wednesday, Kuznetsov posted a photo with the accompanying emoji caption.
That’s the intense, angry, frustrated, kind-of-Dracula, kind-of-foaming-at-the-mouth smiley.
After his first NHL game on Monday, a 3-2 loss to the Penguins, Kuznetsov refused to talk about himself or his moment with our very own Igor Kleyner because he was just so darn mad they lost.
Now this. For those of you wondering if this kid is committed to succeeding the NHL, after one week, I think it seems pretty darn obvious he does.