Washington Capitals centerman Evgeny Kuznetsov spoke on the telegram channel “Hockey on Kinopoisk” this week about how he developed his new style and approach to shootouts.
“In principle, for a long time we talked to our goalkeeper coach on how best to act. There was one moment when we hit the bar five or six times in a row. Not that confidence was lost – I couldn’t understand why I got there from the same point,” said Kuznetsov.
“Accidentally, at one point I realized: the slower you go, the more convenient it is to control the shot. While it works, it’s good. But still, I think at some point it will stop working, I will come up with something new.”
Kuznetsov also responded to Wayne Gretzky’s criticisms of the shootout style. The legendary Canadian said that he dislikes it and that it is necessary to introduce a rule like in baseball: to give seven to eight seconds for a try.
“Gretzky’s words? Well, they’ll ban it. As long as there are rules, I’m within the framework of the law [doing]. They’ll forbid – I’ll come up with something new. In the meantime, I’m not going around the rules, everything is clear according to the law. If banned, well, at least something will be remembered in the NHL, it turns out,” Kuznetsov said.
Kuznetsov, who posted 24 Goals and 78 Points in 79 Games Played in the 2021-22 season, recorded just 12 and 55, respectively, in 81 contests in 2022-23.
The 31-year old forward, who has played his entire 10-season career in Washington, has once again found himself in the offseason trade rumor mill. He was not asked about this in his end-of-season exit interview, although Kuznetsov described his emotions surrounding the team’s failure to play into the summer as “very low”.
By Jon Sorensen