Martin Fehervary Solid In Capitals Postseason Debut

Photo by Andre Ringuette/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images

The Washington Capitals finally brought home a win in the last game of their three-game round robin tournament on Sunday, beating the Boston Bruins 2-1. Sunday’s game was also defenseman Martin Fehervary’s NHL postseason debut, replacing Radko Gudas on the blueline. He was paired with Michal Kempny.

The change on the blueline was due in part as a result of Gudas’ lackluster performance in the previous game against the Flyers, where a turnover of his directly led to the Flyers first goal.

However, the change was also made in part to give the Capitals young defenseman his much-deserved ice time. And Fehervary made good use of the opportunity.

Fehervary led all Capitals in hits with 7. He had the fifth most minutes for a defensemen with 15:14. He also spent time on the power play and penalty kill, which he did for most of the season with the Bears. Fehervary was also positioned on the right side, which he is comfortable in doing, and also did with the Bears this season, filling a significant need for both the Bears and the Capitals.

Fehervary did well with possession metrics. He recorded a 54.55% ‘Corsi For’, the 4th best CF% on the Capitals, with a 50% zone starts, meaning he was not protected in any way, starting his shifts evenly within the defensive zone (2), offensive zone (2), neutral zone (2) and on the fly (11). (Natural Stat Trick)

Expected Goals
Fehervary led all Capitals in ‘Expected Goals For’ for all situations with a 55.06%. He had a xGF of .62 and an xGA of .50. (Money Puck)

Capitals head coach Todd Reirden had high praise for the young defenseman following the game. “Martin is a really solid prospect for us. We think he’s going to play in the league for a long time. It’s just a matter of putting him in situations where can have success. He can grow, he can get better.”

Brenden Dillon was asked about the play of the Capitals’ blueliner. “I think for Marty, to come in and have some confidence and play a great 15 minutes for us, I think it bodes well for our team.

We’re built for playoff hockey. We have a lot of depth up and down our lineup. You see ‘Boyder’ (Travis Boyd) jump in and help us out. I think it’s great for Marty and his personal development and obviously for us as a team.”

Tom Wilson was also asked about the play of Fehervary following the game in an interview with NBC Sports Washington. “He was really good, he’s one of the toughest guys to beat wide in practices, a good pair of boots on him. He’s a smart player.”

Work Ethic
Earlier this week we posted an interview with Capitals scout Peter Ihnačák, who stated he wished all players followed Fehervary’s work ethic and dedication. “Martin is a great fighter, in America they appreciate his play. He skates excellently. I think he has a bright future ahead of him in the NHL.”

“His attitude and heart are very valuable. He has a great character and always gives one hundred percent. He could inspire more young Slovak hockey players with his approach to make an example from him. You can have great hands, game skills or thinking, but without effort in every training and game you will not move further.”

Ihnacak gave credit where credit was due. “He simply came to our attention. I have seen him often in Sweden, but my boss, Capitals’ assistant general manager Ross Mahoney, was also excited about him. He pushed us to draft Martin so high that none of our opponents could take him away from us.”

Moving Forward
It’s difficult to say if Fehervary has cemented a spot in the starting lineup, but with an injury to John Carlson and the lackluster play of Radko Gudas, it’s very likely that Fehervary could see more ice time this postseason.

As far as next season goes, it’s looking like Fehervary will replace one of the two departing defensemen (Radko Gudas or Brenden Dillon). Fehervary, who makes $805,333 AAV will be a significant cost savings for the Capitals, should he make the Capitals roster next season.

By Jon Sorensen

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About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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5 Responses to Martin Fehervary Solid In Capitals Postseason Debut

  1. Anonymous says:

    Why not trade away NJ to keep others?

  2. Jon Sorensen says:

    No chance Caps would entertain trading Fehervary.

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