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Prediction recap: Braden Holtby stays hot with strong win over Montreal

Prediction recap: Braden Holtby stays hot with strong win over Montreal

Carey Price is considered the best goalie in the world.

On Monday, however, Capitals' Braden Holtby was the best goalie on the ice as he led Washington to a 4-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens.

Here’s a recap of the three bold predictions.

1. Justin Williams will get at least a point - Correct

Williams earned an assist on Evgeny Kuznetsov’s game-winning goal in the third period. Granted, Kuznetsov did all the work, but a point is a point. He now has 16 points in his last 17 games.

RELATED: OVECH1KIN WATCH: ONE MORE TO GO

2. The Caps will get at least 25 shots on goal - Correct

I’ll admit, I was debating whether to go with 25 or 30 when I first made the prediction. Eventually, I went with 25 because...well, I’ve been on a cold streak and sometimes you just need to take the chip-shot field goal to get points on the board. In my defense, I would have been right either way as Washington put up a whopping 39 shots on Carey Price.

3. Braden Holtby will earn a higher save percentage than Price - Correct

It was an off night for Price who saved 35 of 39 shots for a save percentage of .897. That’s not what we’ve come to expect from him given his level of talent. Holtby was not able to extend his shutout streak to three games, but he was still fantastic in net. The Caps netminder allowed only one goal on 23 shots for a save percentage of .957, easily outpacing Price.

RELATED: UPDATED NHL POWER RANKINGS

Prediction Results for 2017: The streak is over thanks to a clean sweep. Finally, the new year is off on the right foot.
Correct: 3
Wrong: 12
Push: 0

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Capitals 2017-18 Prospect Preview: Jakub Vrana

Capitals 2017-18 Prospect Preview: Jakub Vrana

As we skate toward the start of the 2017-18 NHL Regular Season, our CSN Capitals team of Jill Sorenson and Tarik El-Bashir detail and analyze the Capitals roster.

They will take a look at breakout candidates, prospects on the rise, players in need of improvement and a look at the rest of the Metropolitan Division, all leading up to the start of the NHL regular season.

We've detailed why Tom WilsonBrett Connolly and Andre Burakovsky are destined for breakout season.

Now we are detailing the prospects you can expect to see with the Capitals this season.

First up is Jakub Vrana.

YOU CAN WATCH TARIK AND JILL'S FULL BREAKDOWN OF JAKUB VRANA IN THE VIDEO PLAYER ABOVE.

2017-18 CAPITALS PROSPECT PREVIEW: JAKUB VRANA

Position: Left Wing
Age: 21
AHL Seasons: 3 (88)
2016-17 AHL Stats: 49 games, 19 goals, 17 assists
NHL Seasons: 1 (21)
2016-17 NHL Stats: 3 goals, 3 assists

Tarik El-Bashir's Prospect Preview:
After a getting a few stints in Washington last season, Jakub Vrana’s challenge will be significantly tougher in 2017-18: he’s got to turn his vast potential into tangible production. 

And the 21-year-old may have no better opportunity than the one he’ll be afforded this winter. With Marcus Johansson in New Jersey and Justin Williams in Carolina, Washington needs a couple of wingers to step into important roles. As things stand now, Andre Burakovsky will get one of those spots, while Vrana’s name figures to be penciled into the other.

There’s no questioning Vrana’s skill; he’s got wheels, good hands and a quick release. But now comes the hard part: putting it all together while showing the consistency he could not find last season with the Bears or the Caps.

Indeed, last year was an odd one for the 2014 first rounder. In each of his NHL stays, Vrana started strong and then faded. What troubled management, though, was the Czech’s response to being demoted.

In short, it wasn’t great.

The result was a disjointed season in Hershey, where Vrana was scratched a few times and his overall performance was, well, a little underwhelming.

I’m not ready to call this a make-or-break year for Vrana, but if he doesn’t develop into a full-time NHLer, I’d consider it a big disappointment.

Jill Sorenson's Prospect Analysis:
What He Has:
"This is a guy hwo the organization looks at for his natural abillity. Obviously he has that flash, that offensive flare that this team really wants. The speed that they want."

What He Needs to Do: "He needs to take advantage of the opportunities that are laid in front of him. I think a lot of people think this top six spot is his to lose. So take advantage of that and make it stick."

RELATED: TEN BEST CAPITALS PLAYERS OF ALL-TIME

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Capitals 2017-18 Breakout Candidate: Andre Burakovsky

Capitals 2017-18 Breakout Candidate: Andre Burakovsky

As we skate toward the start of the 2017-18 NHL Regular Season, our CSN Capitals team of Jill Sorenson and Tarik El-Bashir detail and analyze the Capitals roster.

They will take a look at breakout candidates, prospects on the rise, players in need of improvement and a look at the rest of the Metropolitan Division, all leading up to the start of the NHL regular season.

Up first are the Capitals breakout candidates.

We've detailed why Tom Wilson and Brett Connolly are destined for breakout season.

Today we are looking at Andre Burakovsky.

YOU CAN WATCH TARIK AND JILL'S FULL BREAKDOWN OF ANDRE BURAKOVSKY IN THE VIDEO PLAYER ABOVE.

2017-18 CAPITALS BREAKOUT CANDIDATE: ANDRE BURAKOVSKY

Position: Left Wing
Age: 22
NHL Seasons: 3 (196 games)
2016-17 Stats: 64 games, 12 goals, 23 assists +13 plus/minus

Tarik El-Bashir's Breakout Preview:
Due to some high-profile free agent departures this offseason, the Caps will be counting on a handful of youngsters to turn potential into production in 2017-18.

At the top of that list is 22-year-old winger Andre Burakovsky, who figures to get a full-time role in the top six forward group, possibly on the top line alongside Nicklas Backstrom and T.J. Oshie. He should also see a significant jump in power play minutes. 

The biggest challenge for Burakovsky figures to be the same issue that’s tripped him up the past couple of years: consistency. A year ago, for example, he went 26 games without a goal. But he also enjoyed a torrid 13-game stretch in which he racked up six goals and eight assists. So it’s there; he’s just got to bring it every game now. 

Former Washington forward Marcus Johansson, another first round pick from Sweden, became a 20-goal scorer in his fifth NHL season.

The Caps desperately need Burakovsky reach that plateau—or even surpass it—a full year earlier.

Jill Sorenson's Keys to Breakout:
1.  Confidence: "He really relies on his confidence to find success. So when he went through those lulls last season he didn't have a lot of confidence. But he kept shooting the puck, kept sooting the puck and he knew it would find the back of the net sooner or later. He got scratched, he came back, boom, he found the back of the net. I think going on that top line in the playoffs and looking ahead to next season is going to give him that confidence he needs to really produce."

2.  Comfort Level: He's had great mentorship from Nick Backstrom and Marcus Johansson. He understands now, that at 22 years old, he looks at those guys and sees 'hey those guys have been successful, I see what it means to be a pro. To have that connection with Backstrom, who he plays alongside on the ice and spends time with off of it, wil help him take a big step ahead."

Prediction: Over/Under 25 Goals
Tarik: 27, over.
Jill: 25, push.

RELATED: TEN BEST CAPITALS PLAYERS OF ALL-TIME