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!
By the Numbers
|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.
Kuzya on RMNB
Hope you’ve got a comfortable chair.
- This is an excellent interview between Igor and Evgeny Kuznetsov and you need to read it now if you haven’t already.
- An insane amount of coverage for Kuznetsov’s first game. We were firing on all cylinders here.
- Hey Kuz, did you notice the Caps sucked? “Even if I did, that is something that has to stay internal to the team.”
- Yeah, it’s a thing: Kuzya takes the team > individual thing seriously– check out his first postgame interview.
- Who got an exclusive on Kuznetsov’s first day in the NHL? We got an exclusive on Kuznetsov’s first day in the NHL.
- Fan appreciation day selfies. This was two posts. We had two posts about selfies. Please play better hockey, Caps.
- When they go shopping together, Kuzya carries Ovechkin’s bags. It has happened multiple times. This is mystifying.
- Photos of Kuznetsov signing an NHL contract next to a guy the team let go a few months later.
- The bright point of a stinky effort against the Bruins was Kuznetsov’s late goal. Ian nearly soiled his spandex.
- The one where Orly and Kuznetsov made a joke about a horse and we didn’t get it and then Igor explained it and now we get it even less.
- Kicking it with Gheorghe Muresan and something called a Wale, which I don’t what that is.
- Kuznetsov ruined our interview with Jaroslav Halak, who was just about to tell us how he cheated in 2010.
- I don’t think it’s a good idea for Kuznetsov to be riding in a car with Alex Ovechkin and I think the NHLPA should get involved. This video is weird.
- We made up awful NHL.com headline puns for the Kuznetsov’s big three-point night and no one cared because puns are awful and shame on us anyway.
- Kuznetsov seemed to make Tom Wilson a better player. Kuzya was gracious to Wilson for scoring on the setup.
- Evgeny bunked at Ovi’s house for a couple weeks. Our post about Ovi doing push-ups after losing to Kuznetsov at pool or whatever did bonkers traffic.
- Important: when the headline read “walking on (frozen) water,” that was a joke.
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