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, Tomas Fleischmann.
#14 / Right Wing / Washington Capitals
May 16, 1984
$725,000 cap hit in 2009-10; RFA after 2009-10 season
Key Stats: For the fourth consecutive season, Fleischmann improved upon his regular season goal and point totals and per-game rates, but has just three goals and two assists in 22 career NHL playoff games.
Interesting Stat: Fleischmann scored eight goals in the ten games Alex Ovechkin missed this season and just 15 in the other 65 games he played, including the playoffs.
The Good: Fleischmann missed the first 11 games of the season while recovering from a blood clot in his leg, but came on strong in his return, totaling 17 goals and 14 assists in his first 46 games (that's a 30-goal/73-point season pace), including points in nine-straight games (second-longest streak on the team for the season) beginning with his second game back. Despite missing so much time, Fleischmann easily set new personal bests in goals, assists and points, and his plus-nine rating marked the first time in his career he ended up on the right side of zero in that metric. He was particularly effective on the power-play, registering the second highest points-per-sixty at 5-on-5 on the team, trailing only Nicklas Backstrom. Flash also demonstrated some versatility by playing adequately at times at center and was one of three Cap forwards to average more than one minute of ice time per game on each special teams unit (1:10 shorthanded, 2:32 on the power play).
The Bad: Fleischmann's playoffs went about as poorly as could be imagined, as he saw his ice time gradually reduced before finally being healthy-scratched for Game 7 in favor of Scott Walker. As bad as his performance was in those six games, however, it didn't exactly come out of nowhere - Fleischmann had just three goals and one assist in his last 13 games of the regular season, which are the same totals he had in his 14 playoff games a season ago. Looking a bit more broadly at the trend, Fleischmann now has 24 goals and 70 points in 106 career games from December through February and 15 goals and 27 points in 91 career games from March through May. It would seem as though Tomas Fleischmann's body is not prepared to play a full season of productive hockey at the NHL level.
Back to 2009-10 specifics, the 25-year-old Czech had the worst 5-on-5 Corsi rating and goals-against-on-ice-per-sixty (GAON/60) of any forward that spent the entire season on the team and the worst 5-on-5 penalty plus-minus (penalties drawn minus penalties taken) of any skater who played at least half of the team's games other than John Erskine. Fleischmann was also arguably the team's worst penalty-killing forward, considering his GAON/60 at 4-on-5 and the quality of competition and teammates contributing to that number. Lastly, Flash only won 43.1% of his face-offs, rendering him largely unplayable at center.
The Vote: Rate Fleischmann 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: As a restricted free agent, how much (in dollars and years) should the Caps be willing to commit to Fleischmann this summer? Where does he fit in on the 2010-11 Caps? What will it take for him to earn a 10 rating next year?