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2015-16 Rink Wrap: Justin Williams

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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, Justin Williams.

Geoff Burke-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

Williams Card

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

Williams game-by-game

Williams' HERO Chart (via Own The Puck):

Williams HERO

Williams and His Linemates:

Williams linemates

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

Williams QoTC

Williams' 5v5 Usage:

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

Williams WOWY

Williams' Rolling Shot-Attempt (Corsi) -For Percentage:

Williams rolling CF%

Williams' Last Nine Seasons (via

Williams HA

Previous Rink Wraps: None

Key Stat: Of all the players who skated for any significant time with Williams in the regular season (i.e. more than 40 minutes over the course of the year), only Evgeny Kuznetsov had a better Corsi-for percentage at even strength with Williams off the ice than when skating with him... a marginally better 53% CF, compared to 52.1 when skating on the same line. Put another way, Justin Williams made everyone he played with better.

Interesting Stat: Williams picked up 19 even-strength goals this season, equaling a career high matched in two previous seasons but marking the first time he's hit that mark since 2006-07 when he played for the Hurricanes.

The Good: Arriving in D.C. with a bargain contract and a glowing reputation, Williams made good on both over the course of the season, establishing himself as a go-to guy on the ice and an integral part of the leadership off it.

His first season with the Caps ended up being one of the best of his career, as he put up 52 points - good for fourth-most on the team, behind only the elite trio of Kuznetsov, Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin, and fifth-most in his 17 seasons. That he was able to put up such high point totals is a testament to his season-long consistency; only once did he go more than three games without a point, and he snapped that streak with a flourish, putting up 10 points in his next seven games. And as a result of his consistency, he played in all 82 games this season, bringing his career total to 1000 games played on the final day of the regular season.

Williams' even strength play was definitely his forte, and while the Caps didn't quite achieve LA-like numbers, he played a big role in the team's overall improvement in that department. 42 of his 52 points were at even strength, and his 53.4% CF rate at five-on-five led all Caps forwards (and was narrowly edged out by Dmitry Orlov for the team lead). His consistency carried over to his possession, as well, as and only once (and ever so briefly) did his 25-game rolling CF% average even dip below 50%. Along the way, he elevated the possession stats of just about everyone he played with.

Williams has often been heralded as "Mr. Game 7" (much to his chagrin), but in the regular season he became more of a Mr. Fix-It for the Caps. With his puck possession and often sneaky, blink-and-you-miss-it plays, he could move into any role on any of the top three lines and usually have an impact, either on his own game or (more frequently) on a teammate who needed a boost. That was particularly true of Andre Burakovsky, who joined Williams and Kuznetsov on the team's second line in early January and immediately saw his offense take off; the trio combined for a mere 94 points in the 41 games that followed, most of which were earned together.

The Bad: His regular-season performance was as advertised, if not better. His postseason? Not so much. He (along with the rest of his once-prolific line) was all but invisible in the team's first-round series against Philadelphia, picking up just two points (both in the same game) and kicking off a season-high five-game pointless streak that extended into the first two games of the series against the Penguins. That he picked it up a bit in the final three games of the postseason is worth noting (and feeds into his legend as a clutch-type player), but at that point it was almost too little, too late. Williams also had a penchant for undisciplined streaks during the playoff run, taking a whopping four minor penalties in the Game 5 loss against the Flyers and adding another two in Game 3 vs. Pittsburgh.

Of course, the great irony of the season is that Williams, Mr. Game 7 himself, was part of a Caps team that did not have a seven-game series for the first time in four years (and just the second time in the Ovechkin era). Pretty funny, hockey gods.

The GIF and the Video (because who can choose?):

Williams Hair

The Vote: Rate Williams 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: Were you more surprised by Williams' success in the regular season or relative lack thereof in the postseason? Would you like to see Williams reunited with Kuznetsov and Burakovsky next season, or is he a better fit elsewhere? What would it take for you to give him a "10" next year?