clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

2015-16 Rink Wrap: Marcus Johansson

From Alzner to Winnik, we're taking a look at and grading the 2015-16 season for every player who laced 'em up for the Caps for a significant number of games during the campaign, with an eye towards 2016-17. Next up, Marcus Johansson.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Japers' Rink Player Card (click for a hi-res version, and a glossary of terms used in this post can be found here; data via NHL.comwar-on-ice.comGeneral Fanager and

Johansson Card

Johansson's Season, Game-by-Game (via HockeyViz, explained here):

Johansson game-by-game

Johansson's HERO Chart (via Own The Puck):

Johansson HERO

Johansson and His Linemates:

Johansson linemates

Johansson's 5v5 Teammates and Competition (via HockeyViz, explained here):

Johansson QoCT

Johansson's 5v5 Usage:

Johansson's With-or-Without You (via HockeyViz, explained here):

Johansson WOWY

Johansson's Rolling Shot-Attempt (Corsi) -For Percentage:

Johansson rolling CF%

Johansson's Six Seasons (via

Johansson HA

Key Stat: Since entering the League in 2010, onlytwo players have tallied more points while wearing a Capitals' sweater than Johansson (Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin).

Interesting Stat: In early April, Johansson became the first Capitals player to post a three-assist game and a multi-goal game, consecutively, since Nicklas Backstrom in 2009-10.

The Good: Despite missing eight games this season due injury and an uncharacteristic suspension, Johansson finished just slightly behind his career highs in almost every single offensive category. He finished with one less point, three fewer goals, and six fewer shots than he totaled during his breakout 14-15 campaign.

While his raw point total was impressive, the best aspect of Johansson's game was that he was able to produce regardless of which line he was playing on. To wit, when Barry Trotz moved Andre Burakovsky up to the second line around the New Year to try to increase production throughout the lineup, Johansson shifted to the third line, where he and his linemates had some immediate production, much of which was created off of some tough forechecking. Johansson's strong play made the Capitals look - at least on the surface - like a team with three scoring lines prior to the playoffs.

Johansson had another productive season on the Caps' top power-play unit, where he has been critical to the team's efforts to gain the zone with the puck under control (as opposed to dumping the puck in), and given his net-front presence as Alex Ovechkin and John Carlson pump pucks at the net (among other things), hopefully the silly notion that he's a "soft" player is a thing of the past. Johansson also showed up for the playoffs in a big way (well, at the outset, at least), notching five points (three on the power play) in the first three games of the Flyers series.

The Bad: While the Capitals looked like a team with three scoring lines... they didn't actually have three lines that could be relied upon to produce, which is probably why Trotz moved Mike Richards up to that third line to start the playoffs. The trio of Johansson between Jason Chimera and Tom Wilson had a run cold and had a low five-on-five goal rate (a GF60 of  just 2.12); the only Capitals' trio that played at least 90 minutes together that scored less frequently was that of Jay Beagle, Wilson and Chimera. So the Caps went with a more traditional "bottom-six" and didn't get much offense out of it at all (Beagle's production notwithstanding).

Then, when it became clear that the Capitals weren't getting scoring from the second line (despite chances), it was Johansson who got the call as part of a top-six shake-up that landed Justin Williams on the third line. Unfortunately Johansson's addition didn't fix the lack of scoring, and he wound up with just a single point in the Penguins series (a power-play goal in Game 2).

Johansson wasn't a possession-driver during the regular- or post-season, posting the third-worst relative CF% of Capitals' forwards during the regular season and the fourth-worst during the playoffs. Some of that might be due to his linemates, and Johansson clearly has value, but it's unlikely that he will ever be able to carry a line on his own.

The GIF/Video:

The Vote: Rate Johansson 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: Johansson is a Restricted Free Agent this summer - what's he worth to the Caps? How much and for how long? Is he a top-six forward? Is he a center or a wing? What's that versatility worth? What would it take for you to give him a "10" next year?