When he’s not swinging his stick at players’ bodies like they’re a baseball, Evgeny Kuznetsov is one of the most joyful players in the NHL.
He brings a creativity to the game like an art school major and he’s never shy to let his boy-like exuberance come out during his goal celebrations.
Saturday against the Kings, Kuznetsov was so happy about John Carlson’s third-period game-tying goal that he didn’t want to share that moment just with his teammates. So he put his arm around Kings defenseman Brandt Clarke and brought him into the Capitals’ goal hug, too.
LMAO did Kuz try to pull that Kings player into the goal hug? https://t.co/54P0WKkKE4
— Luke Adomanis (@LukeAdomanis) October 23, 2022
Clarke, as @HockeyKot points out, was extremely confused.
still thinking about Kuzy trying to share the joy of Caps goal hugs with a very confused Brandt Clarke pic.twitter.com/jjEuWoGMdI
— HockeyKot (@hockeykot) October 23, 2022
Clarke ended up in the predicament after trying to defend Carlson down the left wing. As the Capitals’ first line defenseman cut sharply to the middle of the ice, the two players got tangled and Clarke’s stick ended up around Carlson’s neck. It looked like they were embracing so maybe Kuznetsov interpreted that as the Kings skater wanting in on their celebration.
Though there could be other explanations, too. Perhaps Kuznetsov was trolling Clarke for his part in the goal. Or maybe Kuzy figured if he waited for Clarke to get completely untangled from Carlson, they’d never have the chance to celebrate.
Whatever the reason, this was my favorite part of the game and it’s another amazing chapter to the complicated book that is Eugene Kuznetsov.
Screenshot: NBC Sports Washington
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