Evgeny Kuznetsov's play, celebrations have been 'top five' so far

Evgeny Kuznetsov has been dynamite for the Washington Capitals early this season. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Evgeny Kuznetsov has been dynamite for the Washington Capitals early this season. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Washington’s Evgeny Kuznetsov has been lights out so far this season and his squad has been leaning on his hot play early to avoid the dreaded Stanley Cup hangover.

Whether he gives a crap or not, he continues to fuel the discussion about if he should be considered a top five player in the league.

The 26-year-old entered Saturday’s tilt against the Toronto Maple Leafs with three goals and seven points in his first four games. He was also leading all Caps forwards with an average of 20:34 minutes of ice time a night.

Eighteen seconds into his fifth game of the year, he set up new linemate Chandler Stephenson for his first of the campaign.

Then, with the game knotted at one, he went out and did this.

Be sure to watch the slow motion replay of that shot to truly appreciate it. That simply is something that most people can’t do. From that angle and with Toronto’s goaltender Frederik Andersen down a little early, there literally was only room for a puck in that top corner. Ridiculous.

Then, you have to love the ‘let’s order another round’ celebration afterwards.

The Russian has been known for having fun on the ice. His eagle celebration has become a classic and is clearly inspiring the next generation.

This youngster found the back of the net during the first intermission of the game. Then, Kuznetsov went out and scored that incredible power-play marker less than five minutes into the middle frame.

Coincidence? I think not.

Clearly, this kid knew something that the rest of the world did not. I’m not saying that he can predict the future, but I’m also not not saying that either. (If you’re picking up what I’m laying down here).

The Leafs were able to keep Kuznetsov at bay the rest of the way, though. They won this one 4-2 to improve to 5-1-0.

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