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2019-20 Rink Wrap: Evgeny Kuznetsov

From Backstrom to Wilson, we’re taking a look at and grading the 2019-20 season for every player who laced ‘em up for the Caps for a significant number of games during the campaign, with an eye towards 2020-21. Next up, Evgeny Kuznetsov.

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Washington Capitals at New York Islanders John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Regular Season:

Playoffs:

Key Stat: After Kuznetsov’s amazing 2017-2018 season he’s gone down hill statistically. He went from 86 points per 82 games to 78 to 68 points. Definitely not a good trend. For someone with such elite playmaking skills and speed that’s only 28 years old, his points per 82 games needs to hover around 80 at least.

The Good: You would think if Kuznetsov’s stats were declining it would be that his goal production would be the first to go but Kuznetsov was actually on pace for 25 goals, the second highest in his career. He shot his highest shooting percentage with 14.7% this past season. He has a high end shot that we all know he doesn’t use enough.

The Bad: Kuznetsov had one of the worst defensive impacts in the entire NHL last season, making it two straight years of really poor effort in his own zone. He was in the bottom seven percentile in Expected Goals Against this past season according to Bill Caomeau’s model.

The Video:

The Charts:

The Discussion: As outlined here, either Laviolette needs to get through to Kuznetsov and tap into his inner defensive qualities, or move him to wing, or the Caps need to trade him - which do you think is the best option? Where do you see him as being a better fit, on a line with Ovechkin or centering the “second” line? Finally, what would it take for you to give him a 10 next season?

Other Kuznetsov Season Reviews: Coming soon!

The Vote: Rate Kuznetsov below on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the best) based on his performance relative to his potential and your expectations for the season - if he had the best year you could have imagined him having, give him a 10; if he more or less played as you expected he would, give him a 5 or a 6; if he had the worst year you could have imagined him having, give him a 1.

Poll

How do you rate Evgeny Kuznetsov’s 2019-20 season?

This poll is closed

  • 0%
    10
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    9
    (1 vote)
  • 2%
    8
    (3 votes)
  • 9%
    7
    (12 votes)
  • 11%
    6
    (14 votes)
  • 16%
    5
    (20 votes)
  • 30%
    4
    (37 votes)
  • 22%
    3
    (27 votes)
  • 6%
    2
    (8 votes)
  • 0%
    1
    (0 votes)
122 votes total Vote Now