Evgeny Kuznetsov scored his 16th goal of the season Tuesday night against the Minnesota Wild and it was a big one.
After gathering a pass (that would end up being Nicklas Backstrom’s third assist of the night), Kuznetsov drove hard to the net and whipped a shot past Devan Dubnyk. The tally would end up being the game-winning goal.
It’s no secret that Evgeny Kuznetsov is a bit of a comedian. From his famous goal celebrations, to his strange game-time banter, to his obsession with Family Feud, to that whacky post-draft photo, it’s quite clear Kuzya has a solid sense of humor.
During a Russian-language interview with NHL.com on Tuesday, Kuzya got goofy with a reporter after being asked about his recent increased offensive output.
The Capitals Better Halves are auctioning off their annual gift baskets. The themed baskets include autographed items and jerseys from all your favorite Capitals players. The basket also includes items that highlight each player’s unique personality.
For the Winniks, their basket highlights the couple’s love of bulldogs and liquor. Taylor Winnik and her creative mind got alcohol from every country represented on the Capitals and then had the corresponding players sign the bottles.
So yes, there is a bottle of Russian Vodka, Stolichnaya, signed by Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, and Dmitry Orlov.
Nicklas Backstrom may lead all NHL players in points since January 1, but Evgeny Kuznetsov has been almost just as good during that same stretch.
After scoring twice against the Flyers Wednesday night, Kuznetsov now has nine goals in his last 15 games.
The Washington Capitals started off their bye-week by getting into some car-related hijinks. On Sunday, Andre Burakovsky mistook a random stranger for an Uber-driver, but was delivered to his destination nonetheless.
Later that evening, Evgeny Kuznetsov, who is vacationing in Cancun, Mexico, posted a video to his Instagram feed demonstrating some questionable driving practices with some even more questionable passengers.
The Washington Capitals put up a six spot on the Detroit Red Wings, Thursday night. But with a minute left, Evgeny Kuznetsov almost made it 7-3. After taking a centering pass from Dmitry Orlov, Kuznetsov deked and almost scored on Petr Mrazek.
But it’s what happened after that save that has everyone talking.
The Washington Capitals hosted Fatima Al Ali at Kettler Capitals Iceplex on Wednesday. According to the AP’s Stephen Whyno, Al Ali called the experience the “best thing” to ever happen to her in her life.
Al Ali took the ice with the Capitals after practice, getting to learn from and play with her favorite hockey player, Alex Ovechkin. Her brother, Mohamed, joined her on the trip to DC and watched practice with her from the bench. He later joined the media on the ice and filmed her experience with the Caps on his phone.
Several other players including Tom Wilson, Nicklas Backstrom, and Justin Williams chatted with Al Ali on the ice and offered further tips on playing the game. Before heading back to the locker room, Ovechkin gave her a game-used stick and signed it for her. Evgeny Kuznetsov spent the latter half of the post-practice-play going one-on-one with Al Ali. They passed the puck and took shots every few passes before getting into a game of juggling the puck.
In December, Peter Bondra surprised UAE hockey player Fatima Al Ali with a free trip to Washington in honor of her unreal stickhandling skills. Fatima arrived in DC this past Sunday, and on Monday night, she sat courtside as the Wizards and Cavaliers went back and forth in the most entertaining regular-season basketball game of the season. Tuesday, her dream trip continued as she went to her first Caps game and met her favorite player, Alex Ovechkin, in the locker room.
Wednesday, things got even better. In front of a large throng of local and national media, Fatima took the ice with the team after Capitals practice.
Evgeny Kuznetsov was sensational last season, becoming the first player not named Alex Ovechkin or Nicklas Backstrom to lead the Capitals in points in over a decade. But something seemed wrong at the start of the 2016-17 campaign.
In Kuznetsov’s first 23 games of the year, the Chelyabinsk native tallied only nine points – never quite looking like his previous self. Analysts wondered if Kuznetsov was in the throes of a sophomore slump, which was further exacerbated by his postseason performance the previous spring.
According to NHL.com, Kuznetsov had a “very serious” ankle injury.
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