Capitals make a drastic decision concerning Evgeni Kuznetsov

Yikes... this is UGLY.

Published 4 months ago
Capitals make a drastic decision concerning Evgeni Kuznetsov
Zuma Press

The Washington Capitals are in the Arizona desert today to take on the Arizona Coyotes later this evening and when they do so, they'll do it without the services of veteran forward Evgeny Kuznetsov. Not because Kuznetsov is injured or ill though, but because head coach Spencer Carbery has elected to make him a healthy scratch.

Kuznetsov will watch from the press box to get a "mental reset" this evening.

Check it out:

The 31 year old Kuznetsov has just four goals and nine points in 19 games to start the season, well off his career pace. Frankly, he play away from the puck and in the defensive zone has been Kuznetsov's issue this season though. It's one thing if you're not putting points up on the board, it's quite another to be a liability in the defensive end of the ice. There are plenty of passengers on this version of the Capitals, so I can see why Coach Carbery is taking a stand here. With emerging players like Connor McMichael, Hendrix Lapierre, Rasmus Sandin and Martin Fehervary all taking on more prominent roles now and for the future, it makes total sense that Carbery would want to instill some accountability.

As for Kuznetsov... well... this isn't the first time in his career that he's been made to sit on the sidelines.

The hot and cold Russian centerman is one of the streakiest players in recent memory. He's either a world beater or a liability out there, rarely playing things right down the middle. During the height of the Capitals' run to the Stanley Cup in 2018, Kuznetsov was an absolute BEAST of a player. In fact, it's this writer's opinion that Kuznetsov was more deserving of the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP over superstar captain Alexander Ovechkin. Since then though, Kuznetsov hasn't been near as effective. He managed just 12 goals and 55 points last season, his lowest in a full season since 2015.

The Capitals are currently holding down a playoff spot in the very tight Metropolitan Division, thanks in large part to some stellar play from netminder Charlie Lindrgren in recent weeks.