Evgeny Kuznetsov has struggled to put the puck in the back of the net during regulation this season as he has tallied just seven times in 52 games. However, when it comes to games that need a shootout to decide a victor, Kuzy has been the Capitals’ ace in the hole.
The super slick center is three-for-three on his attempts this season due to his super slow shootout move. It’s a move that has brought the ire of some around the game as they believe it is unfair for goaltenders to try and stop.
At practice on Thursday, Caps backup goaltender Charlie Lindgren proved those complaints false. The Athletic’s Tarik El-Bashir posted video.
Charlie Lindgren wasn’t having Evgeny Kuznetsov’s foolishness in practice 😂 pic.twitter.com/83bG2MhGdx
— Tarik El-Bashir (@Tarik_ElBashir) February 10, 2023
The video shows Kuznetsov come in on Lindgren as slow as ever with a whole bunch of stickhandling. Kuzy then makes his final move and tries to beat Lindgren low on the right-catching netminder’s glove side. Attempt denied.
The last time Kuznetsov successfully used his new favorite one-on-one move was in a win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on January 26. Kuzy deked about two dozen times before unleashing a shot past Casey DeSmith’s blocker as the goaltender attempted to poke-check the puck away.
Evgeny Kuznetsov did it again…😂 pic.twitter.com/01NxuOu0Fz
— Brady Trettenero (@BradyTrett) January 27, 2023
Earlier this season, RMNB’s Ian Oland spoke to Kuznetsov about what sort of advantage, if any, he thinks going so slow gives him.
“I don’t know to be honest with you,” Kuznetsov said. “I don’t know what [the goalies] think but I feeling much more comfortable in terms of the timing and stick-handling. In terms of my angle, I feel much more comfortable when I’m coming slower.
““I felt like I have three, four posts in a row before when I was coming kind of little faster and then I decide to take time and see what the goalie thinks,” he added. “So far it’s been working but I think I still have to mix once in a while so they don’t get used to.”
Looks like he isn’t mixing it up enough in practice. Lindgren wins this round.
Screenshot via @Tarik_ElBashir/Twitter
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