The Washington Capitals forward Evgeny Kuznetsov will be away from the team for an indefinite period. It was announced today that he will be receiving care from the NHL/NHLPA Player Assistance Program. For Kuznetsov, he will be eligible for a return to the team’s lineup once the program’s administrators clear him to return to on-ice activities. The club announced they have recalled forward Michael Sgarbossa as a replacement for Kuznetsov.
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) February 5, 2024
The Washington Capitals Evgeny Kuznetsov’s 2023-24 On-Ice Stats
The 31-year-old Evgeny Kuznetsov is not having a great year on the ice for his Washington Capitals squad. He has six goals and 11 assists for 17 points through 43 games. Furthermore, he has a pace set of 1.3 points per 60 minutes. This standing is by far the worst of his career, as his career low was his first full NHL season in 2014-15 with 2.1. Moreover, he has amassed 568 career points through 723 games played. Given his performance, it does seem like he is having a tough time this year. Let’s hope he can receive the care that can get him back the way we all know he is capable of playing.
What Does This Mean for the Club
The Capitals are having a tough year overall. With Alexander Ovechkin on goal-scoring supremacy watch, and in the twilight of his career, the club is in an unusual situation. They want to compete, but their lineup just isn’t what it once was, especially from their 2018 Stanley Cup Championship.
Head Coach Spencer Carbery has done a decent enough job with his club, sporting a 22-18-7 record, good for fifth in the Metropolitan Division. However, another former superstar at the twilight of his career, Nicklas Backstrom, has only suited up for eight games this year. He has been suffering from a hip injury. Combined with Kuznetsov’s struggles on the ice, it has been difficult for the team to compete. For example, according to moneypuck.com, Kuznetsov has played with only one line combination for over 100 minutes, at 125.7. His linemates are noteworthy in Ovechkin and Tom Wilson. Conversely, their statistics as a line are equally noteworthy, but not in a positive sense, with a xGoals% of a horrendous 24.6. That is not to say some players have not had decent seasons, because they have. Players like Dylan Strome, Wilson, or Charlie Lindgren are the reason the Caps are competitive.
Main photo: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
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