I know the USA's World Juniors run didn't end so well, but if you're a Caps fan, things weren't all bad at the tournament this year.
Reason? Evgeny Kuznetsov making everyone looking like an idiot again. A 19-year-old this year at an under-20 tournament, Kuzya was clearly a man among boys. Some people--notably, the country of Canada--are mad about it. I don't really blame them. If Kuznetsov wasn't in the future for my country or my team, I'd be mad about it too. Here's the best of people being pissed off about everything that he's accomplished for his country in the WJC this year:
In case you're having trouble deciphering that tag, it's "Mr. I Can Eat An Apple Through A Picket Fence." Oh, burn.
It makes sense that the captain and the top scorer should be the lightning rod for Canada's (understandable) frustration. What I don't think most of us anticipated was Kuzya's knack for the incredibly infuriating quote--if you didn't catch it last night, here's a good one via the Toronto Sun: "I’m exhausted of all emotions after this win. I don’t think Canada is good enough to score so many goals as we allowed."
Caps have been lacking a good pest for awhile, and Kuzya looks to be shaping up into an Ovechkin figure at the very least--exasperating because he can back it up, and because he's not shy about it. Despite the sour-grapes trashing you'll read from some news sources of a certain nationality this morning, those who follow Kuznetsov know that he's a great teammate, self-effacing, impatient with being given too much credit--but he's not afraid to tell you when his team is good, that's for sure.
Caps fans will ring in the new year with visions of a Kuznetsov-Ovechkin line dancing in their head. See you in October, kiddo.