Evgeny Kuznetsov had a breakthrough season and a historic postseason on his way to the Stanley Cup. He’s also extremely funny.
|18.8||time on ice per game|
|48.1||5-on-5 shot-attempt percentage, adjusted|
|56.1||5-on-5 goal percentage, adjusted|
About this visualization: This series of charts made by Micah Blake McCurdy of hockeyviz.com shows various metrics for the player over the course of the season. A short description of each chart:
Twenty-seven goals and 83 points, jeez, what got into Evgeny Kuznetsov?!
|Season||TOI with Ovi|
Oh, well, yeah. That’ll do it. Instead of playing with solid wingers Marcus Johansson and Justin Williams like he did last year, Kuznetsov spent most of his season with Alex Ovechkin, who is not bad. They scored at elite levels during 5-on-5 and were even better on the power play, where Kuznetsov’s ice time grew by 66 percent and his on-ice goal rate increased 46 percent as he played both more and closer to the net, tripling his individual rate of high-danger chances.
Other than that, Kuznetsov was the same player he’s always been – ludicrously creative, attuned for passing, and probably the funniest player on the team between the whistles. (More on all that below.)
He still sucks at faceoffs (44.2 percent won). That shouldn’t matter unless it drives your coach to make unnecessary and self-defeating compensations (i.e. Beagle’s absurd deployments), but that won’t happen again, so I’ll stop griping.
A word on the postseason, actually, make it two words: holy crap. Kuznetsov’s 12-goal, 20-assist playoff campaign was the second most productive since the lockout. Only Malkin’s Conn Smythe-winning, 36-point effort in 2009 surpasses him. It was a magical couple months.
I wonder where Kuzy goes from here. Thirty goals would be nice, especially if Ovechkin’s attempt rates trend down with time. But I’m not greedy. For now, I’m just going to enjoy the show.
Y’all, get ready for some jokes-tier highlights.
Name one player who is funnier than Evgeny Kuznetsov. Ugh, this has been such a fun review to write. What do you wanna talk about?
Read more: Japers’ Rink
Headline photo: Cara Bahniuk
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