It took four years, but Evgeny Kuznetsov finally suited up with the Washington Capitals. And with that, millions of Facebook commenters immediately stopped saying stuff like, “beleive it when i see it” and “already sick of his premadonna russian already [sic].” That alone made his season a success to me, but let’s consult the stats anyway.
BTW, today is Kuznetsov’s 22nd birthday!
|13.1||Average time on ice per game|
|42.3%||Shot attempt percentage during 5v5|
|41.2%||Goal percentage during 5v5|
|10.4%||On-ice shooting percentage during 5v5|
|91.2%||On-ice saving percentage during 5v5|
We’ve been waiting for Kuznetsov since June of 2010, and he finally arrived. I can’t even attempt to summarize the tribulations leading up to Kuznetsov’s jump to the NHL, so just peruse the Kuznetsov tag and save me some carpal tunnel.
We got just 17 games out of Kuzya in his inaugural season, and despite his 229 minutes of ice or his nine points, we still know very little about him. Kuznetsov spent most of his time on the fourth line with Tom Wilson and other unfortunates. Kuzya didn’t drive possession in the Caps’ favor (the team owned 3.2 percent more shots when he wasn’t on the ice) and got soundly outscored despite a ridiculous 10.4 on-ice shooting percentage.
I’ve got no idea what to do with that information. Kuznetsov boarded a sinking ship and got stuffed away in steerage. Did we expect him to transform the bottom line into a puck-possession dynamo? And does the nature of his performance– small sample, playing in depth– tell us anything about how he might project as a top-six forward?
We could excuse the wretched underlying numbers put up by Kuznetsov by citing the Oates Effect once again, choosing instead to just see the glimmers of true jokes-osity in his play, but I worry that might be overly naive. So here’s what I’m gonna do: I’m gonna treat game one of the regular season in October like it’s the first game of Kuznetsov’s NHL career and start from there.
Hope you’ve got a comfortable chair.
Kuznetsov’s first career NHL point: a secondary apple on an Ovi shot from the Ovi spot.
But what if this– in just Kuzya’s second game– had been his first career point? UGH.
This has nothing to do with anything, but I made it and I want to use it here. Author’s prerogative.
What do you know about Evgeny Kuznetsov that you didn’t know before March? Do the numbers scare you at all? Do you think Kuzya is ready for tough assignments in the top six? And finally, how glad are you that #Kuyzawatch is long gone?
Read more: Japers Rink
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
All original content on russianmachineneverbreaks.com is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)– unless otherwise stated or superseded by another license. You are free to share, copy, and remix this content so long as it is attributed, done for noncommercial purposes, and done so under a license similar to this one.