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Caps Goal of Year Bracket: Dowd Alley-Oop vs Kuzy Freezes Miller

Caps Goal of Year Bracket: Dowd Alley-Oop vs Kuzy Freezes Miller

With less than a month before training camp opens in mid-September, we are taking one last look back at the 2018-19 season as we dive into the best goals of last year. We compiled our bracket based on the cumulative rankings of our Capitals team, from reporters to producers and everyone in between, and now is your turn to help us determine the best Capitals goal of 2018-19. Below is a Slack conversation between the members of our Capitals content team.

jmurph: We've reached the end of the second round and we've got the 4-vs-5 matchup left. That means Nic Dowd's alley-oop to Carl Hagelin is facing off against a sneaky Evgeny Kuznetsov goal against the Ducks (we won't mention how that game ended). I have a guess where this one is going, but who wants to kick us off?

bmcnally: Ridiculous skill level from Kuznetsov there. You don't embarrass NHL goalies easily. But man...I can't get enough of that Dowd pass.

Rob Carlin: Kuzy was disrespected the last time on the no-look pass. But I think we know how I feel about these Dowd passes. This is a skill. It ain’t luck. Dowd!!

mvioli: I love the Dowd pass, the alley-oop was awesome to see. But Kuzy made that ridiculous goal look so effortless.

Rob Carlin: I meant to say no-look goal for Kuzy. The one vs Toronto. Whatever. It’s Dowd!

jmurph: Both Dowd passes were insane, but this one was inch perfect and he made the read to break up the pass across on the PK. Kuzy might have been hard-done by the last matchup, but this one is all Dowd I think we've found out that Kuzy is the Jakub Vrana of the second round

bmcnally: The fact that he looks up, sees it's Hagelin and just flips it virtually onto his tape is ridiculous. It's not like he just threw it down ice blind and a fast guy skated onto it.

Rob Carlin: I can’t wait to see how many of these passes he can pull off this season. I’m setting the line at 3 1/2. McNally, you taking over or under?

bmcnally: Whoa whoa whoa. 3 1/2? Man. That's excessive. I think the line has to be 2 1/2 right?

jmurph: Is the line set for attempts or just goals? Because I'm hammering the over on attempts, not so sure about the goals side of things bmcnally: If a guy is hitting 4 of those in a year he should go directly to the following year's All-Star game.

Rob Carlin: He did it twice last year and he wasn’t even a full time regular. So you’re taking the under? I don’t know why you hate Nic Dowd so much?!?

bmcnally: I'm taking the under on 3 1/2 but I love this question

Rob Carlin: :joy: :joy: [these delightful emojis do not translate with our webpage]

jmurph: Kuzy is sitting here now trying to figure out how to get on the end of one of these so he can advance to the semis

Rob Carlin: Until he does, we say goodbye to Kuzy. #OnwardDowd!

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Why goalies will have the hardest time adjusting to NHL's return, per Joe Beninati

Why goalies will have the hardest time adjusting to NHL's return, per Joe Beninati

With commissioner Gary Bettman's announcement of the NHL's plan for returning to play, hockey fans and players alike can begin to gear up for a 24-team postseason frenzy at some point this summer. 

Teams will have time to shake the rust off in training camp since the league went on hiatus nearly three months ago. July 1 is the earliest camp can begin. Players like Capitals defenseman John Carlson, who admittedly hasn't touched his skates since March, will have to get back in shape quickly before the first puck drops. 

However, Capitals play-by-play announcer Joe Beninati thinks the skaters will be fine. It's the goalies that face the biggest challenge getting back to where they were when the season was suspended.

"I think the goaltending is going to be the most difficult to return," Beninati said on The Sports Junkies Wednesday. "These guys keep themselves in great shape, they'll get reacclimated, their skating muscles will return in that two-week cap period. For goalies, it's especially difficult to get that timing back and the goaltending role is so explosive. They're asking their bodies to do so many things so reflexively, so powerfully, and quickly that you may be dealing with injuries there."

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Beninati also noted that with expanded rosters under this new format, teams should be able to carry as many goaltenders as they like along with 28 skaters. While having to start your third or fourth goalie in a playoff game may not be an ideal situation if players start getting hurt left and right, it's at least good the league has a preventative measure in place. 

One of the most important aspects of playoff success in the NHL is goaltending. Even if training camp begins on July 1, that'd be nearly four months to make up for physically and mentally with an apparent increased risk of injury. Then you have a massive 24-team field in an NHL playoff setting known for its unpredictability. 

It's probably safe to say the 2020 NHL playoffs will be wild. 

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Fans choice should be clear: Why Oshie, Vrana should win 'Best Bromance'

Fans choice should be clear: Why Oshie, Vrana should win 'Best Bromance'

The Capitals have always been home to some impressively strong bromances (see Ovechkin-Backstrom, Chimera-Ward, Wilson-Latta just to name a few) but there might be none better than the developing connection between linemates T.J. Oshie and Jakub Vrana. With the NHL Fan Choice Awards in their final week of voting, we thought we would help jog your memory (in case you’ve forgotten) with five reasons why Oshie and Vrana deserve your vote for Best Bromance in the NHL.

5. You’re great! No, you’re great! No, really, you’re great!

It was clear early on this season that the relationship had gone to new heights and the world got to experience it firsthand on December 11th when Oshie and Vrana paid each other compliments after a spectacular goal by No. 77.



After Oshie dangled the Bruins defense, Vrana was sure enough the first teammate there to celebrate and then after the game, Oshie joked that he had to look down and check his skates to make sure they weren’t Vrana’s based on his speed burst. Quick to the repay the comment, Vrana took to Twitter to compliment his linemate on his silky smooth mitts.



They really are too cute.

4. Checking In During Coronavirus Isolation

Last week, Vrana participated in a cook-off with teammate Jonas Siegenthaler and Oshie tuned in to see how things were going. No less than 10 seconds into joining, Oshie recognized and commented on his bro’s new ‘do!

Even during isolation, Oshie is always checking in on his linemate.



Oshie then continued on to taunt Vrana about what seemed like far too clean a house for his linemate and say that his food looked a little dry. But the best part is just the two of them calling each other “liney” the whole time. If that doesn’t make you smile, I don’t know what will.

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3. Sit Back and Watch the Shootout Show

Earlier this year, with the All-Star Game approaching in St. Louis, Oshie found himself on the ballot to be the Last Man In from the Metro Division. Who gave the best endorsement? You guessed it, that would be Vrana.



Oshie then invited Vrana to join him as a package deal, but Vrana had other plans: watching with a nice bowl of popcorn from the couch.

2. Bro Shark, Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo 

January 5th looked like it was going to be a very disappointing loss for the Capitals. Hosting the San Jose Sharks, a Logan Couture empty-netter with 1:00 left in regulation seemingly sealed the deal for the visitors with a 2-goal cushion. Never say never. 

First, it was Vrana who brought the Caps back within 1 with 47 seconds left. Then, it was his linemate Oshie who tallied the tying goal with just 15 seconds left on the clock. Our NBC Sports Washington cameras caught another intimate moment for the pair when they got back to the bench.



Could they be any cuter?

1. From One Liney to Another

Yes. They could be cuter. Here’s how.



I mean, look at that. C’mon people, this is the best bromance in the NHL and honestly, it’s not even close. Does anyone else have a t-shirt for their bromance? I thought not. Case closed.

Click here to vote (voting ends on Monday, June 1).

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