Mikhail Grabovski’s career as a member of the Washington Capitals began with an explosion of offence last night at the United Center in Chicago. Grabo lit up the defending Cup champs for 3 goals and 1 assist in a 5-4 loss. It’s amazing what skilled players can accomplish while playing with the game’s best talents.
Last season, Pittsburgh Penguins’ forward Chris Kunitz had a tremendous season, finishing well above a point/game pace for the first time in his NHL career. Kunitz enjoyed regular time on a line with Sidney Crosby, as well as, significant power play opportunity with Sid, Evgeni Malkin, James Neal and Kris Letang. The Pens number 14 even scored 4 goals in a game last year. It’s hard to imagine he puts up those numbers on another team, in a less prosperous offensive situation.
Grabovski features on a Caps power play unit with some of the game’s finest offensive weapons, allowing him a lot of space to roam and bury pucks in the back of opposing nets. Alexander Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Brooks Laich and Mike Green form the rest of the Caps 1st power play, combining for 3 goals against last season’s 3rd best penalty killing team.
There is obviously no way Mikhail Grabovski maintains last night’s pace, however, just for fun, if he can score 3 goals a night for the remainder of the 82 game schedule he will finish the campaign with 246 goals. Clearly, that’s not going to happen.
The Caps newly acquired 2nd line centre is in the perfect situation to succeed, something head coach Adam Oates conveyed to Grabo while courting him to sign on with the Capitals this offseason.
Grabovski will enjoy his new offensive role on the Caps, potentially leading to a career year, and maybe even a really high scoring one that could see him finish high amongst top scoring leaders.
Kunitz himself, will try to prove last season was no fluke, and he’ll hope to get off to a good start against the New Jersey Devils, tomorrow night, in the Pens season opener.