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, Matt Bradley.
#10 / Right Wing / Washington Capitals
Jun 13, 1978
$1,000,000 cap hit in 2009-10; UFA after 2010-11 season
Key Stat: Bradley set career highs in goals, assists and points, and registered his highest plus/minus season since 2001 - all while skating just over eleven minutes of ice time per night.
Interesting Stat: Five of Bradley's ten goals this season were game-winners, which tied for second on the team... clutch.
The Good: Bradley seemed to carry the momentum of last year's stellar postseason performance into this year, providing a surprising spark from the fourth line while continuing to do the little things he's always done - forechecking, penalty killing and generally being a pest. He had the best GAON/60 of the team's regular penalty killing forwards while facing relatively tough competition. He was great at protecting the puck, with the third-best takeaway-to-giveaway ratio on the team behind only Eric Fehr and Boyd Gordon. And while he established new career highs on the offensive side, his flashy goal-scoring didn't take away from his gritty on-ice presence, either. Bradley's heroics became the stuff of legends among fans and teammates alike - whether it was coming to the defense of his superstar or taking one (or two [video]) for the team, he reminded us that every game #needsmorebradley.
The Bad: Despite lighting the lamp with greater regularity, Bradley still struggled to find consistency in his offense over the course of the season. Goals would come in quick succession and then be followed by long droughts, and half of his tallies came in the first two weeks and last two weeks of the season. He had the worst +/-ON60 of any forward who spent the entire season with the Caps. And as much as we love his oft-bloodied face, perhaps Brads probably shouldn't be the guy who leads the team in fighting majors.
The Vote: Rate Bradley 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: With one year left on his contract, does Matt Bradley have another career season left in him? What do you see his role being next season? What would you like to see Bradley improve on in 2010-11? What will it take for him to earn a 10 rating next year?