From Backstrom to Steckel, we're taking a quick look at and grading the 2007-08 season for every player* who laced 'em up for the Caps during the campaign (and is still with the team) with an eye towards 2008-09. Next up, Brent Johnson.
Contract Status: 2008-09 salary of $825,000 ($812,500 cap hit); UFA following 2008-09 season
Age (as of October 1, 2008): 31
NHL Seasons (including 2007-08): 7
2007-08 Regular Season Stats: 19 games played, 7-8-2 record, 0 shutouts, 2.68 GAA, .908 SV%
Key Stat: Take away his second start of the season and Johnson had a 2.41 GAA and .913 SV%.
Ironic Foreshadowing Stat: Johnson became the first goalie other than Olie Kolzig to start a season opener for the Caps since Craig Billington in 2000.
The Good: Johnson recovered from a rough start to the season to end the year giving up more than three goals in just one of his final dozen appearances, a span that included a three-game winning streak (and a tough loss to the Flyers) in January and a couple of bad beats (by Carolina and Jersey) in February. He was 6-4-1 with a 2.38 GAA and .917 SV% under Bruce Boudreau and had a 4-3-1 overall record with a 2.18 GAA and .919 SV% against Southeast Division opponents. His .908 save percentage was the second best of his career, and he posted a 1.97 GAA and a .927 SV% at the Verizon Center.
The Bad: Johnson had a six-game winless streak (pre-Boudreau) during which he had a 3.61 GAA and a .878 SV%, and in five of his 17 appearances he had a GAA of 4.00 or higher (which is something to keep in mind if he ends up as the number two goaltender behind a guy who has never played more than 52 games in a season). Johnson had a 4-5-1 record with a 3.11 GAA and .897 SV% on the road and ended the season (early, of course) on an overall 1-3-1 slide.
The Vote: Rate Johnson on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the best) based on his performance relative to his potential 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 Questions: What's the maximum number of games you'd be comfortable seeing Johnson start for the 2008-09 Caps? What will it take for him to earn a 10 rating next year?
If you've missed any of the previous 2007-08 Rink Wraps, click here, get caught up, and vote - polls will stay open for a while.
* And by "every," we mean every one who played more than just a handful of games.