Discussion in 'Washington Capitals' started by g00n, Mar 25, 2021.
He's getting the (personal) breaks, and I'm sure that is a liberating feeling and makes him think he is playing better.
But he shouldn't be hard on himself, as he's been playing well all season long. And his on-ice numbers have reflected that all season long.
You might not be able to quantify those specific items you mention, but if those items are indeed improved then they will surely improve his on-ice numbers as well which can be quantified. The fact is, he is playing as well as he has all season: which is to say extremely well.
Kuzy also just mentioned he had private conversations and talks with Lavi - wouldn't disclose them. Something must have ticked. He said he wants to continue to grow and play better. So glad to hear. Seems like him and Lavi are on the same page and Lavi pushed the buttons that he needed to push.
Was Sprong benched in the 3rd or injured?
I think that Lavi is a great coach. Imagine actually hiring coaches with NHL experience?
Sounds like a professional relationship from both sides, well done. Kuzy clearly came into this season motivated to put his disappointing 2 years under Rierden in the rear-view mirror and has shown it from Game #1 with his standout 5v5 play, while Laviolette (understandably) needed to see Kuznetsov put up a large sample of good overall performances before trusting him in high-leverage defensive situations given his terrible defensive play under Rierden.
Lavi is a legit coach. Such a difference with this team!
Caps have never had problems finding regulars season success, even Reirden won the division twice. Lets wait for the playoffs.
They won under Reirden because they were a very talented team, not because they were a very good team. The team defense was terrible, the neutral zone was a complete joke, and they frequently got outplayed but won due to their skill.
Now, they’re a top 5 defensive team with mediocre goaltending, and an offense that is extremely good at finishing their chances but middle off the pack in creating those chances. That’s a pretty good combo to have, and a winning formula for the playoffs, especially as their xGF/GA rates continue to trend in the right direction as well as the goaltending.
FWIW, their xG ratios are pretty darn similar to what they were from 14-15 through 16-17. They were middle off the pack in xG’s (but finished at a much higher rate) and 7th in xGA (but Holtby was really good).
Yeah, they didn’t win until 17/18, but I’ll take my chances with a team that is this skilled buying in and playing the right way. Especially after they finally got over the hump a few years ago. If they receive even league average goaltending, they’re gonna be really hard to beat.
I know I'm going to regret saying this* but Kuzy did say he has a better understanding now of what Lavi wants from him.
*hides for cover from three pages worth of graphs.
But yeah, Kuzy magic is always welcome around here.
I’m sure there have been some tweaks made during the season and I have no doubt he has a better understanding of Laviolette’s expectations now than earlier in the season, but the major change in Kuznetsov’s game clearly came this offseason/preseason and not 10-15 games ago. I won’t beat anyone over the head with the graphs and numbers since they have been posted before, but the expected goals have been there all season, and even the for-real goals have been there all season. It’s just that now over the past 10 or so games he’s picking up the points on these goals that he’d already been contributing to.
they definitely seem better defensively under lavi
I don’t think anyone ever questioned his offense. The issue was his defense and effort. It’s really there now and he has become trusted in late-game situations because of his all-around play the last ten or so games. Tonight, Kuzy was backchecking so hard every shift and even diving to block shots and passes. Earlier in the year, he was going for line changes instead of backchecking and just loafing off on D. Totally different player in terms of defense and effort to me right now than he was earlier in the year.
So now you know better than the player and the coach.
Man if you can’t see the change in Kuzy in the last 2 weeks, not sure you’re watching....
Points in 7 of 8, 2 GWG, 9 pts, getting more ice time as a result (of a more complete effort) in key situations...
he’s been claiming that for many years and many coaches lol...
Imagine thinking Sprong didn't earn a regular lineup spot..
Did Sprong replace Sheary on the 1st line in this game? And Sheary moved to LW on the 3rd?
If so then I guess Lavi is seeing if there is chemistry there (2 assists would say it looks good) with a view towards Sheary dropping to 13F when Eller returns.
I'd honestly rather see Panik or Sheary being dropped than Sprong. Out of the 3 Sprong looks to have the most upside.
The confidence in their passing is night and day. So is the calmness when they are under pressure in their own zone. Under Reirden they always looked rushed and panicked.
Agreed. I might be stupid but honestly I don't buy any rationale behind sitting Sprong at this point. Tf they want him to do? You can't sit here and justify a guy like Panik playing over him with a straight face, that's just downright offensive.
I like this win a lot.
Our goalie had a bad day, and we played just our new ”routine” game and got away with 2 points.
And Ovie scored. And Kuzy heating.
Sure bounces were at our side today but we are looking strong.
The points were always coming given his level of play. It’s not like I wasn’t predicting this exact thing would happen!
I think the main disconnect is that I’m looking for what a players is doing that will indicate future success. Kuzy has been doing mostly everything right offensively and defensively all season long, minus a few lazy line changes or other small items. Because of this, it was inevitable that he would start collecting some points. This is why I’ve been so high on Kuznetsov, and a bit cautious regarding players like Backstrom and Wilson whose numbers are somewhat inflated right now and who aren’t actually playing very well overall IMO.
Points are somewhat incidental and subject to decent amounts of luck. For instance, his second goal tonight was a good play by him to deflect the puck toward the net, but wasn’t it lucky that it deflected off Damon Severson’s skate into the net? He wasn’t getting those breaks earlier in the season.
I have no doubt he’s feeling more confident now due to scoring more recently. Maybe this added confidence is making him feel better about his game. But he’s been doing the big things right all season. His defensive effort has been there all season, otherwise his defensive numbers would not have been so stellar all season. His offensive effort has been there all season, otherwise the numbers indicating he generates the most offense on the team would not have been there all season.
These same standout numbers were not present the past two seasons, in fact they were miserable under Rierden.
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