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, Milan Jurcina.
Contract Status: 2008-09 salary of $912,500 ($881,250 cap hit); RFA following 2008-09 season
Age (as of October 1, 2008): 25
NHL Seasons (including 2007-08): 3
2007-08 Regular Season Stats: 75 games played, 1 goals, 8 assists, +4, 30 PIMs
Key Stat: Jurcina finished with the best single-season plus-minus of his career.
Surprising Stat: Jurcina had 18-, 12- and 10-game stretches during which he didn't commit a single penalty.
The Good: Jurcina didn't miss a game due to injury all year, led all Cap defensemen in hits (by a country mile), finished second on the team in blocked shots and set a career high for average ice time per game with 16:38. Despite the increased ice time, Jurcina cut his penalty minutes for the second straight season, and the team blocked more shots on goal per sixty minutes of ice time when he was on the ice than when any other player was. After a February 16 benching, Jurcina played in every game the rest of the way and finished the season with a plus-11 rating in 22 games.
The Bad: Jurcina posted the worst points-per-game ratio of his career (0.12, a drop of .05 for the second consecutive season). His one goal came in the second game of the campaign (meaning he's currently riding a 73-game goal-less streak), and he had pointless streaks of 16, 14 and 10 games during the campaign (and that 14-gamer is current and 21 games long if you include the playoffs). Only one of his assists all season was a primary helper (think about that for a second - 75 games played, 16:38 of ice time per game... one goal, one primary assist). His 1.7 shooting percentage was the worst of anyone on the team who had at least 15 shots on goal and marked the second straight season in which his percentage has dropped by nearly 4% (his shots on goal total for the season was also a career low). He had the worst takeaway-to-giveaway ratio on the team (by far) and his inconsistent play resulted in seven healthy scratches over the course of the year.
The Vote: Rate Jurcina 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 role do you see Jurcina playing on 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.