CSNWashington.com Capitals Insider Chuck Gormley will evaluate the 2013-14 performance of each player on the Caps roster. One breakdown will occur every weekday in alphabetical order. Today: Marcus Johansson
Position: Center/Left Wing
Age: 23 [turns 24 Oct. 6]
Ht/Wt: 6-1, 205
Penalty minutes: 4
Average Ice Time: 17:32
Contract Status: 1 year remaining on 2-year, $4 million contract [$2 million cap hit in 2014-15]
Strengths: There are games in which Johansson shows why the Caps made him their 24th overall pick of the 2009 NHL draft. Games where he’s darting all over the ice, threading passes through sticks and skates and stickhandling around defensemen for quality chances. And the kid hardly ever takes a penalty, going to the box just twice all season. But then there are games when he goes completely unnoticed. Johansson’s 44 points were two off his career high set two seasons ago when he recorded 14 goals and 32 assists. However, 21 of his 44 points and six of his eight goals came on the power play.
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Weaknesses: Johansson finished fourth on the Caps in scoring this season, but his minus-21 ranked second-worst on the team, ahead of only Alex Ovechkin’s minus-35. Johansson was often guilty of blown coverages in his defensive end and his lack of production at even strength was alarming. In 80 games he managed just 23 even-strength points and two even-strength goals. With four seasons under his belt it’s easy to forget that Johansson is only 23 years old. But with his skill level you have to believe he’s capable of more. Johansson ended the season with his wrist in a cast and needing six weeks to heal.
Memorable Moment: In a 5-4 shootout victory over the Calgary Flames in the Capitals’ home opener, Johansson picked up a season-high three assists, including a laser stretch pass that hit rookie defenseman Connor Carrick in full stride as he came out of the penalty box. Carrick walked in on Flames goalie Kari Ramo and beat him cleanly for his first NHL goal.
Quotable: “It didn’t end like we wanted. No one wanted this. It sucks, but I think everybody came in wanting to win. … I think it was too much up and down. We had stretches where we were really good, but we had too big a dips and they came too often. You can’t have that. The league is too good and we need to be more consistent.”
2014-15 Expectations: Johansson’s offensive numbers did not justify his role as a top-line left wing. Would he be better served as a second-line center? If Mikhail Grabovski is not re-signed, that could be where he starts next season, unless the Caps’ new coach sees Evgeni Kuznetsov as a second-line center. Johansson still has lots of potential but with one year remaining on his contract the Caps need to decide if his career will continue in Washington or in another NHL city.