Washington Capitals rookie Evgeny Kuznetsov had a heck of a breakout game against Vancouver on Friday night.
After notching his first three NHL assists against the Canucks, Caps fans are excited about the arrival of the 2010 first-round pick. Washington coach Adam Oates, however, is trying to keep everyone’s excitement in check as Chuck Gormley of CSNWashington.com shares.
“I really want to caution about getting to far ahead,” Oates said. “He made a couple good plays. Good. He can make a couple boneheads tomorrow. He’s a good hockey player, he’s played pro hockey, even though it’s over there. Do I expect him to make that pass to Willy? It was a great pass. Awesome. Is he learning? Yeah, I hope so. But I also want to caution myself on the wow factor.”
We’re sure some fans in Washington are going to look at Oates being like a wet blanket, but it’s true that one game doesn’t make a career.
At 21 years old, Kuznetsov could have a long NHL career ahead of him. At this point, however, he’s just three games into it. If he can keep up the solid play from Friday night, he won’t be going away any time soon.
Alex Ovechkin’s career has been a special one already, but he hit a plateau against the Boston Bruins this afternoon.
Ovechkin scored two power-play goals as the Caps rolled to a 4-2 win against the Bruins. His second goal of the game turned out to be special because it was his 800th career point. Check out the video of his tally courtesy of CSNWashington.com:
Of Ovechkin’s 800 points, 414 of those are goals.
After the game, Caps coach Adam Oates, he of the 1,420 point Hall of Fame career, had some fun commenting on Ovechkin hitting a large, round number.
The Sochi Olympics turned into a nightmare for Alex Ovechkin and Team Russia.
The reigning NHL MVP had one goal in the opening game against Slovenia and was held scoreless the rest of the way, including today’s 3-1 elimination loss to Finland.
While Russia’s coach was quick to throw Ovechkin under the bus for his performance, Washington Capitals coach Adam Oates said it’s unfair to hang all the blame on one player as Chuck Gormley of CSNWashington.com shares.
“You can only control the way you play, right?” Oates said. “You can’t control the way the team plays or how it evolves. Obviously, it’s not the ending they wanted, but this is the third Olympics in a row they haven’t medaled, so it’s not on one guy. It’s on the group and at some point I’ll have a chance to talk to [Ovechkin] about that.
“That’s why you can’t criticize one guy. It’s easy from the cheap seats. In fairness to them, they had the most pressure because it’s the host country.”
Oates is right, what ails Russia is more than just one superstar not scoring goals. Ovechkin is the face of the Russian team, however, and with that comes fair and unfair expectations all around.
Scoring just one goal makes it a bad performance, but there’s more than enough blame to go around for Russia’s poor finish. Putting it all on Ovechkin isn’t close to fair.
Washington Capitals defenseman John Carlson will be making his first trip to the Olympics to represent the United States.
As Katie Carrera of The Washington Post shares, Caps coach Adam Oates believes playing on the big stage in Sochi will make him a better player down the stretch
“I don’t worry about it based on [workload] because I think the Olympics will energize him,” Coach Adam Oates said. “I think he’ll zero his focus in again…. You’re going to play with the best players in the world at the highest level. So for one week I think it will, if nothing else, re-energize him.”
Carlson, 24, has played internationally before in the World Junior Championships, but incorporating the condensed NHL schedule and the jam-packed Olympic schedule could be an issue for some players.
This season, Carlson has 10 goals and 23 points in 59 games. He trails only Mike Green among defensemen on the team in scoring. If he can pick up his play following the Olympics, the Capitals could sure use the lift as they’re one point back of the final wild card spot in the East.
The Washington Capitals have had issues on the blue line all season and things aren’t getting any clearer now.
The team recalled defensemen Julien Brouillette and Patrick Wey from Hershey in the American Hockey League in time to face the Winnipeg Jets at Verizon Center tonight.
Wey has played in one game for the Caps this season and played 14:36 while getting one shot on goal. He has one goal and two assists for Hershey this season and started the year in the ECHL with the Reading Royals. He was a fourth-round pick out of Boston College back in 2009.
Brouillette has yet to play in the NHL but that could change tonight. He has nine goals in Hershey this season, good for the team lead amongst defensemen.
With two blue liners being called up, the question is: Who else could be out? Mike Green is dealing with a concussion and Jack Hillen has already been out for weeks with a broken leg. It’s not getting any easier for coach Adam Oates.