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2018-19 Rink Wrap: Nic Dowd

SB Nation logo SB Nation 5 days ago Alex Ervin
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From Backstrom to Wilson, we’re taking a look at and grading the 2018-19 season for every player who laced ‘em up for the Stanley Cup Champion Caps for a significant number of games during the campaign, with an eye towards 2019-20. Next up, Nic Dowd.

Regular season

Playoffs

Key Stat: Nic Dowd was Washington’s only center this season with a faceoff win percentage above 50 (51.9%). The Capitals struggled mightily at the faceoff dot this year, but Dowd was the bright spot in that column on the stat sheets.

The Good: Dowd had a really solid first season with the Capitals. He essentially came in during the offseason as Jay Beagle’s replacement, and he proved he more than deserves the job. He anchors Washington’s fourth line well when he’s in the lineup, and while he doesn’t spend as much time on the penalty kill as Beagle did, his penalty killing is very effective. Dowd was also called upon for a lot of defensive zone starts, starting 57% of his play in the Caps’ own zone, which shows that the coaches trusted his defensive abilities.

Dowd also reached a new career high in goals with eight and tied his 2016-17 career high in points with 22 this season, which are numbers you would expect from someone who plays fourth-line minutes. He only played in 64 games this season because the Capitals had a handful of fourth liners to cycle in and out of play, but he made the most of the ice time he did get.

The Bad: Dowd needs to take more shots on goal, plain and simple. He only registered 48 this season, which is one less shot than Dmitrij Jaskin but through 27 more games. The only regular forwards with less shots than Dowd were Chandler Stephenson (36) and Travis Boyd (35). It isn’t that Dowd’s play was lacking or that he underperformed, because the Caps got a solid fourth line performance from a solid fourth liner, but this seems like a pretty logical place to try and improve his game.

The Video:

The Charts:

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The Discussion: Dowd signed a three-year, $750,000 AAV contract with the Capitals on April 11. After a full season to get comfortable with the Caps’ system, how can he improve his game next season? What would it take for him to earn a “10” next year?

Other Dowd Season Reviews: Peerless, RMNB

The Vote: Rate Dowd below on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the best) based on his performance relative to his potential and your expectations for the season - if he had the best year you could have imagined him having, give him a 10; if he more or less played as you expected he would, give him a 5 or a 6; if he had the worst year you could have imagined him having, give him a 1.

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