From Alzner to Varlamov, we're taking a look at and grading (please read the criteria below) the 2009-10 season for every player who laced 'em up for the Caps for a significant number of games during the campaign, with an eye towards 2010-11. Next up, Jason Chimera.
#25 / Left Wing / Washington Capitals
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
$1,875,000 in 2010-11; UFA after 2011-12
|Regular Season (CBJ)||39||8||9||17||-7||47||1||0||0||92||8.7||14:47|
|Regular Season (WSH)||39||7||10||17||6||51||0||0||1||68||10.3||12:36|
|Regular Season (TOT)||78||15||19||34||-1||98||1||0||1||160||9.4||13:42|
Key Stat: 30-6-7, Washington's record in the regular season games once Chimera pulled on the Caps' sweater for the first time.
Interesting Stat: Chimera had 17 points in 39 games for both the Blue Jackets and the Capitals this season.
The Good: Chimera brings an attitude and skill set that no one else on the Capitals does. That in and of itself has value; the fact that his combination of speed and physicality and gritty style of play are perfectly suited to the playoffs is even better. On the physical side of things, Chimera is more often than any regular Capitals forward other than Alex Ovechkin at 1.33 hits per game and showed himself more than willing to drop the gloves in defense of himself or a teammate; on the speed side of things, Chimera was able to consistently harass opposing players in their own end and force turnovers. Although his hands aren't good enough for him to bury all his chances or set up his teammates with smooth passes, he does use the speed to create chances seemingly out of nothing for the team. Ultimately, though, what Chimera does best - wear down opponents and make life easier for his teammates - might not show up on the scoresheet. Or, at least not next to his name.
The Bad: As well as he plays the role of the grinder, it's hard not to want more out of Chimera. Given his speed and size, you'd hope Chimmer would be a solid shot blocker, but his 10 blocks in 30 games with the Caps is among the worst per-game ratios on the team. The speed and grit also make you hope he'd be a good penalty killer, but Chimera's 4-on-5 numbers aren't all that good and Bruce Boudreau doesn't seem too inclined to give the winger much time on the kill; the same attributes suggest Chimera should be a boon when it comes to penalty differential, but he actually took more than he drew this season (though, to be fair, this includes his time with Columbus as well). Finally, we would have expected Chimera to be one of the Capitals who stepped up his game in the postseason, and as a result his seven hits in seven games and zero blocked shots seem pretty disappointing, despite his solid playoff point production.
The Vote: Rate Chimera 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.
The Discussion: The Capitals' record after they acquired Chimera is impressive, to say the least, but how much of that has to do with Chimera himself? What role do you see for Chimera next season? Will he continue to be a third line who seems minimal special teams minutes, or could his solid forechecking and speed earn him some special teams time?