First and foremost, I’m not suggesting that a simple change in stick models has made a difference in the Capitals recent fortunes or in Evgeny Kuzenetsov’s goal production. Nor am I suggesting this is any critical breaking news. I’m merely pointing out a coincidence that is more of an indication of a hockey player’s superstitions, and the need to try different things in order to change current ways.
Kuznetsov was first spotted using the stick early in Capitals training camp this summer. He continued using the stick for the round robin games and for the first couple of games in the Capitals first round series against the New York Islanders.
However, when things go south for hockey players, many times their tendency is to switch things up, including their equipment. For Kuznetsov, it meant saying goodbye to the new fangled Bauer Nexus ADV stick and hello to an old favorite, the Bauer Vapor.
After trailing in their series against the New York Islanders 2-0, and needing a spark in Game 3, Kuznetsov apparently decided he needed to return to familiar ways, his Bauer Vapor stick. The result? Two goals in five periods of play…so far. It must be the stick!
For games 1 and 2, Kuznetsov continued to use the new Bauer Nexus ADV.
Kuznetsov began Game 3 with the Bauer Nexus ADV. But early on, possibly in need of a change, he switched back to his familiar Bauer Vapor.
…. and scored.
Sticking with his old favorite, Kuznetsov would score in Game 4 as well.
Whatever it takes…whatever it takes.
By Jon Sorensen