Capitals

Fantasy Baseball Category Killers: Steals

Fantasy Baseball Category Killers: Steals

Steals
Anthony Gose, Blue Jays: Nobody has been hotter on the bases than Gose, as he's collected six steals during the past week, giving him a total of eight during the month of August. Gose is still struggling a bit with the bat (.208), but is hitting .250 during the past week so there is hope that he's finally turning the corner.

Darin Mastroianni, Twins: Denard Span is missing his sixth straight contest on Monday night due to shoulder issues, clearing the way for Mastroianni to see continued at-bats. He's been great all season on the bases, going 14-for-16 in stolen base attempts, all in part-time duty. If he ever got the chance to be a regular, he'd have a chance at a 50 steal season.
Jose Tabata, Pirates: With Starling Marte landing on the disabled list, it appears Tabata will have another crack at proving his worth in the majors. He was 2-for-7 in his return, and was caught stealing twice, with the good news being that he's active and looking to make things happen on the bases. He could be a sneaky play for those in need of steals over the course of the next two weeks.
Eric Young, Rockies: Young is thriving in regular duty in August, batting .406 with three homers and three steals. He's always had elite wheels, but has rarely gotten the chance to put them on display regularly. Remember, he swiped 27 bases in just under 200 at-bats last season, so the upside here is enormous.

Erick Aybar, Angels: Finally healthy, Aybar has been heating up recently, especially during the past week (.346, 2 HR, 2 SB). With four steals already in August, we may finally be seeing the speed that allowed him to tally 30 during the '11 season. At 41 ownership at Yahoo, he's likely freely available in your league.

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How Evgeny Kuznetsov could have changed Tuesday's outcome

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USA TODAY Sports

How Evgeny Kuznetsov could have changed Tuesday's outcome

With the score tied at 0 in the second period, the Caps had a chance to put the first goal on the board on their second power play of the night. Specifically, Evgeny Kuznetsov had a chance to score the first goal of the game and his first of the season. But with a golden opportunity on his stick, Kuznetsov waited too long to shoot the puck the opportunity was lost. It is an issue that has seemingly plagued Kuznetsov throughout his career and one that may have cost the Caps a chance at two points on Tuesday.

After a scrum in the left corner, the puck was fed over to John Carlson on the right near the blue line. With some room to work with, he advanced to the top of the right circle and then fired a pass cross-ice to Kuznetsov. Kuznetsov had set up shop in Alex Ovechkin’s office in the left faceoff circle and the Leafs evidently forgot about him.

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With the puck on his stick and no one between him and Toronto goalie Frederik Andersen, Kuznetsov waited. He waited so long in fact that forward Connor Brown was able to backcheck and turned what would have been a very good opportunity into a much easier save for Andersen.

“A guy caught him,” Barry Trotz said after the game. “Just get it off quick. Guys close quick on you defensively.”

Would Kuznetsov have scored if he had fired the shot? Would the Caps have won if he had scored? We don’t know, but Kuznetsov would have had a better chance at scoring had he shot the puck quickly and Washington would have been in a better position to win if they had gotten the first goal on the board.

It was just another moment that made fans watching in Capital One Arena and at home yell in unison, “Kuznetsov, shoot the puck!”

MORE CAPITALS: A SHORTHANDED CAPS TEAM SUFFERED AN EARLY INJURY AGAINST TORONTO

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Tarik El-Bashir's three stars from Caps vs. Maple Leafs

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Tarik El-Bashir's three stars from Caps vs. Maple Leafs

In a rematch of last year’s ridiculously entertaining first round playoff matchup, the high-flying Maple Leafs skated away with a 2-0 victory over the Caps on Tuesday night at Capital One Arena. The Caps are now 3-3-1 on the season.

Here are Tarik’s three stars of the game.

1-Connor Brown, Maple Leafs

Most people had Brown scoring the decisive goal, right? The winger started the season on the fourth line but was promoted to the third line ahead of this game—and he made the most of the opportunity. At 5:53 of the third period, Brown fought off Evgeny Kuznetsov, pounced on a rebound and pounded the puck between Braden Holtby’s pads. Interestingly, the Leafs came into the game leading the league in goals per at 5.20.

2-Braden Holtby, Capitals

The Caps’ starter did all he could, turning away 28 of 29 shots he faced. Holts was at his best on the penalty kill, where he stopped all three shots the Leafs put on him. His best save of the game likely came in the opening moments of the game—a right pad stop on James van Riemsdyk, who was looking to finish a 2-on-1.

3-John Carlson, Capitals

With Matt Niskanen week-to-week with an upper body injury, the minutes load has fallen on No. 74’s shoulders. And it did again vs. Toronto. Carlson finished with 27:33 of ice time. He also had a couple of good looks early on but he couldn’t finish.

Do you agree? Give us your thoughts in the comments.

More Capitals: Must See Photos: Toronto 2 Caps 0 10/17/17