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Who is the top left wing in the NHL? EA Sports releases its ratings

Who is the top left wing in the NHL? EA Sports releases its ratings

There are few questions in sports, nay, in life that create such heated debate than a sports player's video game rating. There have been riots in the streets, wars have been fought and thousands have died all because of arguments stemming from player ratings in the annual installments of all the various sports video games.

NHL 18 will be released Sept. 15 and to generate excitement, EA Sports has been releasing the top 10 players at different positions. On Sunday, the company released the top 10 left wings in the game. Caps fans will be pleased to know that Alex Ovechkin clocks in at No. 1 with a rating of 92.

 Writes EA Sports:

Alex Ovechkin is perhaps one of the best goal scorers in NHL history. On the power play, there might not be a better player to score. You know exactly where Ovi is going to be and the Washington Capitals feed him the puck to his spot where he uses his accurate (95) and powerful (95) Slap Shot. With five 5-star categories, Ovechkin's got a lot of tools in his arsenal to dominate the competition.

RELATED: 25 most important Caps: No. 17 Christian Djoos

Yes, Ovechkin scored 33 goals last season, but 33 is still pretty darn good and even at 32 years old, which he will turn in September, EA Sports still sees him as a top threat.

Here is the full list of left wingers. Quick note, Caps fans should probably stop reading the list at No. 7.

1. Alex Ovechkin 92
2. Jamie Benn 90
3. Taylor Hall 87
4. Brad Marchand 87
5. Johnny Gaudreau 87
6. Max Pacioretty 87
7. Artemi Panarin 86
8. Filip Forsberg 86
9. Eric Staal 85
10. Gabriel Landeskog 85

Some other takeaways from the rest of the list:

Wow, a hockey list that actually acknowledges Hall as one of the top offensive players in the NHL? Odd. EA Sports' hockey credibility just went up in my book, though I would consider Eric Staal a center rather than a wing. Is Artemi Panarin really one of the top 10 left wings in the league? He will have to prove it now that he is in Columbus rather than Chicago playing on a line with Patrick Kane. If he is that good, watch out for Columbus this year.

What do you think of EA Sports' rankings?

MORE CAPITALS: Capitals Faceoff Podcast: Storytime with Mike Vogel

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Bruins coach takes issue with Tom Wilson coming to the defense of Dmitry Orlov

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USA TODAY Sports

Bruins coach takes issue with Tom Wilson coming to the defense of Dmitry Orlov

Tom Wilson is one of those players people love to have on their team, but others hate to play against.

An incident in the second period of Washington's 5-3 win over the Boston Bruins on Thursday has once again drawn the ire of an opponent.

With the Bruins attacking, a deflection by Patrice Bergeron hit off the post and out of play. As the puck was going out, Brad Marchand gave a cross-check to the back of Dmitry Orlov.

Orlov took exception. So did Wilson.

You can see the replay here.

RELATED: 4 REASONS THE CAPS BEAT THE BRUINS

With Orlov and Marchand engaged in a shoving match, Wilson comes in to defend his teammate. That did not sit well with Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy.

“Well, I voiced my opinion at the end of the period. I think it’s wrong and to me, to just put two guys into the box in that situation when a third guy comes in, there should have been an additional call,” Cassidy said after the game, per Bruins Daily.

“That’s the way I felt about it, they didn’t see it that way. Clearly, two guys, Orlov and Marchy [Marchand] were battling and for him [Wilson] to come in is unnecessary, to say the least in that situation. But their job is to police it on the ice, and in that particular instance, that’s the way the saw it and that’s the way it went.”

CAPITALS EXTRA PODCAST: RECAPPING ANOTHER FIVE-GOAL GAME

Perhaps Cassidy was just fishing for an extra minor to Wilson, but it is probably no coincidence he said "a third guy comes in" when referencing the play.

There is a rule in the NHL against a "third man in" that states that a misconduct penalty will be assessed on "any player who is the first to intervene (third man in) in an altercation already in progress," but the term "altercation" falls under the terms of fighting in the rule book. Orlov and Marchand were assessed matching minors for cross-checking. The fact that the referees determined no fight was in progress means there was no "altercation" and the third man rule does not apply.

Marchand and Wilson were not done with each other and both players were assessed 10-minute misconducts late in the third period, but by then the game was already well in hand for Washington.

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4 reasons the Caps beat the Bruins

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USA TODAY Sports

4 reasons the Caps beat the Bruins

The Capitals just can't seem to lose to the Boston Bruins. The Caps extended their win streak over the Bruins to 11 games on Thursday thanks to their 5-3 win in Boston.

Here's how the Caps extended the streak.

Braden Holtby, especially in the first and second period

Here is one where the box score won't tell the whole story. Braden Holtby gave up three goals on 37 shots. Looking at that, you may think to yourself that he was good, but not great. Let's be clear, Holtby was great in this game, especially early. The Bruins were buzzing in the first and second period—Washington was outshot 13-3 in the second—yet after 40 minutes Washington held a 2-1 lead. Holtby was brilliant allowing the Caps to take control of the game.

RELATED: CHECK OUT TARIK'S 3 STARS OF THE GAME

Finally solving Boston's penalty kill

The Bruins entered Thursday's game with the 3rd best penalty kill in the NHL. Washington failed to score on any of its first three power play opportunities in the first period so they changed things up. In the Caps' normal power play, there is some movement, but the setup is largely based on positioning. Players have spots they are supposed to be in and their movement is largely restricted to their specific areas. That changed in the second period. The players cycled frequently and managed to catch Boston's penalty killers off guard. Instead of playing the wall like he usually does, Backstrom was in front of the net for the easy tip-in off a pass from Evgeny Kuznetsov.

Rookies

Jakub Vrana scored one of the prettiest goals you will see this season as he split the defense and turned what looked like a normal play into a breakaway. In the third period, the ice began tilting in Boston's favor, but Christian Djoos slammed the door shut. Djoos took a pass at the blue line and had room to skate. He drove in, deked around Anders Bjork and set up Alex Chiasson beautifully right on the tape for the goal to make it 3-1.

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Alex Chiasson

Chiasson not only scored off of the great setup by Djoos, but he also was able to turn a blocked shot into a breakaway shorthanded goal. The Caps entered the third period up 2-1. Chiasson scored the next two to make it 4-1 and really iced the game away.