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Caps Goal of the Year Bracket: Kuznetsov's silky mitts vs Vrana's steal and snipe

Caps Goal of the Year Bracket: Kuznetsov's silky mitts vs Vrana's steal and snipe

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: Another day, another matchup in our Goal of the Year bracket. Today we’ve got Kuzy’s sweet hands against Jakub Vrana turning defense to offense. Who wants to lead us off?

Rob Carlin: Love the Vrana goal. Love everything about it. Great stick lift & steal, finished like a goal scorer — and got the face wash from Ovi. Love it. But Kuzy was magical. Vrana is like Strasburg — dominant 7 innings but doesn’t get a decision.

jmurph: The face wash isn't the best part of the goal, but it's definitely my favorite part.

timmcdonough: I’m with Rob... these are two sweet stick-handling displays, but Kuznetsov makes it looks soooo easy. I lost count of the dekes in there, then to pull it around the goalie and in the net, like the puck was Velcro’d to his stick.

bmcnally: The hard work that went into the Vrana goal was so impressive. Never gave up on the play. That was a beauty. But I agree with Rob. It looked like Kuznetsov put a spell on the Ducks goalie there. To do that near full speed and end up deking him that bad is ridiculous.

Rob Carlin: And it wasn’t a quick face wash. Ovi stayed with it.

jmurph: Not to mention, Kuzy helped turn the puck over in the neutral zone before rampaging down the wing. I could watch the replay of that goal on repeat and never get tired of it.

Rob Carlin: Didn’t Vrana take a tough loss earlier in this bracket? He’s turning into Gonzaga. High hopes but gut-punching losses.

bmcnally: Ryan Miller must still wake up at night this summer in a cold sweat thinking about what Kuznetsov did there. It's like he was hypnotized. We won't talk about how that game against the Ducks ended, but it's so, so good.

timmcdonough: I’m already looking ahead to round 2, which is always dangerous, but we’re gonna have some ridiculous matchups...

jmurph: Hopefully we can find a Vrana goal to sneak in there because he definitely deserves a shout. He scored some beauties last year and is having some terrible luck on these draws.

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Watch T.J. Oshie teach his daughter Lyla how to ride a bike

Watch T.J. Oshie teach his daughter Lyla how to ride a bike

Despite the circumstances, the past few weeks have been an exciting time for the Oshie family.

Just over two weeks ago, Capitals forward T.J. Oshie and his wife, Lauren, welcomed their third child into the world, Campbell.

But on Sunday, it was the couple's oldest child, Lyla, that stole the show.

Lyla, who just turned six last month, accomplished something that she will remember for years to come: learning how to ride a bike.  

How adorable is that?

As Lyla bikes up the driveway, T.J. is a step behind her, making sure she doesn't fall. The Caps winger had an ear-to-ear grin on his face, such a proud dad.

With the NHL season on pause due to the coronavirus pandemic, hopefully more Papa Oshie content comes as a result.

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Braden Holtby sets franchise record for shutouts in blowout simulation win over Panthers

Braden Holtby sets franchise record for shutouts in blowout simulation win over Panthers

The Capitals got plenty of offense in the latest NHL 20 simulation, but they didn't need it as Braden Holtby turned aside 36 shots to become the team's all-time shutout leader in a  5-0 blowout of the Florida Panthers on Saturday.

Result: Caps 5, Panthers 0

1st period

1-0 Caps goal: Evgeny Kuznetsov from Alex Ovechkin and John Carlson

2nd period

2-0 Caps goal: Nicklas Backstrom from Nick Jensen and T.J. Oshie

3-0 Caps goal (power play): Jakub Vrana from T.J. Oshie and Nicklas Backstrom

https://twitter.com/NBCSCapitals/status/1246580242438815745?s=20               

3rd period

4-0 Caps goal: Brenden Dillon from Evgeny Kuznetsov

5-0 Caps goal: Tom Wilson from Alex Ovechkin and Brenden Dillon

How the Caps won

1. Fast start

What kind of a game was this going to be? We found in just 61 seconds as Kuznetsov wasted no time to get the Caps the lead. Washington would lead the rest of the way.

Carlson charged the blue line to keep a loose puck from getting out of the zone. He passed it up to Ovechkin who made a quick backhand pass to Kuznetsov in the slot to score the goal.

2. Possession

Florida somehow recorded 36 shots on goal, but did they ever really have possession of the puck in this game? It didn't feel like it. The Panthers had trouble defending against the Caps' offense as they struggled to keep the puck out of the defensive zone and struggled to get it out once it got there.

Florida also had no answer for Washington's physicality. The Caps threw their bodies around all game long to separate the Panthers from the puck and Florida just took it.

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3. A long-awaited shutout

It's been a long time coming. Holtby had not recorded a shutout all season long and finally got one in the final game of the regular season with 36 saves. The shutout is the 36th of Holtby's career, which gives Holtby the most in franchise history, moving him one ahead of Olie Kolzig. Or it would have of course if it was not a simulation.

In the few opportunities in which Florida did manage to keep the puck long enough to set up its offense, Holtby was there and gave the Panthers no daylight with which to shoot on. 

Next game

This was the final game of the regular season. Check back with NBC Sports Washington for a simulated playoff.

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