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“It’s Sh–!”: Kuznetsov Blasts Capitals Decision to Scratch Him

Washington Capitals’ center Evgeny Kuznetsov has candidly shared his feelings about being a healthy scratch.

Washington Capitals’ center Evgeny Kuznetsov has candidly shared his feelings about being a healthy scratch, expressing his discontent with the decision. In a straightforward statement, Kuznetsov stated, “It’s sh**, but gotta accept it… I want to succeed here.”

The 31-year-old player, a key figure for the Capitals, faced the unfamiliar role of being left out of the lineup for Monday’s game against the Arizona Coyotes. Head coach Spencer Carbery made the decision, hoping it would provide a “mental reset” for Kuznetsov, who has been grappling with a challenging season, accumulating just nine points in 19 games during the 2023-24 campaign. The reality is, the Caps and their coach were trying to send a message.

Elliotte Friedman noted that the decision to scratch Kuznetsov wasn’t just about performance. His attitude has been a problem in Washington and things boiled over last week. The hope is that he gets to a point where he’s embarrassed and plays better as a result. A change in attitude was needed and they have expectations for him.

Evgeny Kuznetsov Capitals trade talk

To Carbery’s credit, the move might have worked. Kuznetsov recognized the team’s need for his offensive contributions and expressed a sense of responsibility for the scoring deficit. “I feel like we’ve been missing those 15-20 points by me, and that’s 20 goals. If we could score those 20 goals, we’d probably be top-10 in the league in regard to scoring, so that’s what we’re missing.” he remarked. To Kuznetsov’s credit, he took this embarrassing shot, and will make the best of it.

Kuznetsov said:

“You gotta accept sometimes and trust the process, and I feel like there is a lot more into it. That was a bad, bad day and bad finish over there, right… for me, probably yes.” Like I said, I love Carbs [Carbery] so much. I trust what he’s doing and he’s trying to help me find my game and get better and help the team, because I know that I gotta be better in every areas… I have to play better hockey. That’s the answer.”

Can the Capitals and Kuznetsov Move Past This?

Despite the evident frustration, Kuznetsov is prepared for redemption, with plans to rejoin the lineup on Thursday. The last 48 hours, marked by the disappointment of being scratched, have been described as some of the toughest in his career. He is determined to turn this challenging period into a catalyst for personal and team success, emphasizing his commitment to the Capitals’ triumph in every game.

As for trade talks, they may continue. Ultimately, it might be best for these two sides to part ways. Kuznetsov will have to pick his play first. No team will want his contract if he’s not producing.

h/t to Sammi Silber of The Hockey News for the quotes

Next: Red Wings Deliver Good News On Patrick Kane’s On-Ice Debut

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  1. Pingback: “It’s Sh–!”: Kuznetsov Blasts Capitals Decision to Scratch Him Its Playoff Hockey Fantasy Hockey News – Its Playoff Hockey

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