Evgeny Kuznetsov’s Shootout Flair Reaches New Level Sunday Night Against Maple Leafs


His previous shootout attempt saw him approach the opposing goaltender at a record slow pace, rivaling a sloth on the rush. He was just barely moving forward, as required by the rule book. The most important part, Evgeny Kuznetsov converted on his attempt.

Kuznetsov went first for the Capitals in Sunday night’s shootout with the Toronto Maple Leafs and added a new bit of flair to his attempt, a stick twirl in the middle of his slow-mo approach. In the end, he would be the only Capitals player to convert.

Here is another angle of Sunday night’s shootout attempt by Kuznetsov, coming right at you, as if you were the goaltender. The stick twirl has to catch your eye if you are in goal. It may not have mattered in the end, as Kuznetsov’s late snap of the wrist is really the key to his conversions.

The bottom line, Kuznetsov is converting on his attempts, but the added flair is refreshing. It’s leaving us anticipating the Capitals next shootout, but with just three games remaining in the regular season, time is running out. (no overtime or shootout in the postseason). You almost hope that one of those games goes to a shootout. Almost.

By Jon Sorensen

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 Evgeny Kuznetsov’s Shootout Flair Reaches New Level Sunday Night Against Maple Leafs

  1. novafyre says:

    It certainly gives players and goalies something to think about next season, just like the lacrosse goal attempts. Won’t take over the NHL but more players may give it a try.

    And it certainly is, as you say, fun to watch.

    But I’d rather win in regulation.

  2. Anonymous says:

    More Kuzy shootout attempts! It’s must see tv.

  3. steven says:

    Probably a little distracting the first few times he does it and not as offensive to the other teams as his bird after scoring. Interesting thta he doesnt try the lacrosse move.

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      🤔 Hmmmm, hadn’t thought about the Michigan in the shootout. That’s a good idea, Steven. I wonder if anyone has ever tried that.

      • novafyre says:

        Player actions are same as in a penalty shot
        24.2 The puck must be kept in motion towards the opponent’s goal line and
        once it is shot, the play shall be considered complete. The lacrosse-like move whereby the puck is picked up on the blade of the stick and “whipped” into the net shall be permitted provided the puck is not raised above the height of the shoulders at any time and when released, is not carried higher than the crossbar. The spin-o-rama type move where the player completes a 360° turn as he approaches the goal, shall not be permitted.

        I interpret this as allowing a lacrosse move between the goal and red lines but not from behind the goal line. So since a true ‘Michigan’ occurs behind the net, I do not believe it would be allowed. I believe the puck is dead once it passes the goal line.

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