Since the 2009-10 season, the Capitals have ranked first on the power play four times and ranked within the top five six times. That said, the Capitals have always been known to be one of the most respected offensive teams when it comes to the man-advantage. Today, the power play lineups got some time at Kettler. Here is what both units will look like this season.
Alex Ovechkin, T.J. Oshie, Nicklas Backstrom, Evgeny Kuznetsov, and John Carlson
The top power play unit was rebuilding their chemistry, moving the puck around trying to find the open guy.
Ovechkin shoots it right from his office.
The top power play unit returned all but one last season. The new face on the top unit is Evgeny Kuznetsov, who was promoted due to the departure of Marcus Johansson. With Kuzy in place, this unit combined for 38 goals last season. With Johansson gone, the Capitals lost at least five power play goals. Alex Ovechkin led the team in power play goals last year with 17. Nicklas Backstrom and T.J. Oshie are just behind him with eight and seven goals respectively.
Andre Burakovsky, Jakub Vrana, Brett Connolly, Dmitry Orlov, and Matt Niskanen
Andre Burakovksy, looking to be the leader on the second unit, gets a shot off but Pheonix Copley is there to stop him.
With Evgeny Kuznetsov moving up to the top unit, the second unit won’t have center which could present a challenge. This unit, with last season’s numbers, combines for eight goals. Keep in mind this math that I did doesn’t include Jakub Vrana’s four power play goals with the Hershey Bears last season. What these numbers do include is Vrana’s three power play goals from his recalls last season.
It’s going to be interesting to see what kind of production these special teams provide this season. The top unit looks established while the second unit will need to gel. The players who need to step up the most on the second unit are Andre Burakovsky, Dmitry Orlov, and Vrana.
By Michael Marzzacco