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2016-17 Rink Wrap: Justin Williams

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From Alzner to Winnik, we're taking a look at and grading the 2016-17 season for every player who laced 'em up for the Caps for a significant number of games during the campaign, with an eye towards 2017-18. Next up, Justin Williams.

Buffalo Sabres v Washington Capitals Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Japers' Rink Player Card (click for a hi-res version; data via NHL.com, Corsica.hockey and Cap Friendly):

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

Williams and His Linemates (chart by @muneebalamcu):

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

Williams’ 5v5 Usage (chart by @muneebalamcu):

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

Williams’ Rolling Shot-Attempt (Corsi) -For Percentage (chart by @muneebalamcu):

Williams’ Last Ten Seasons (via Stats.HockeyAnalysis.com):

Williams’ Goals Against Replacement (GAR) Components (chart by @ChartingHockey, data by @DTMAboutHeart, explained here, Tableau here):

Williams’ HERO Chart (via Own The Puck):

Previous Rink Wrap: 2015-16 (7.14 rating)

Key Stat: Williams scored 11 goals in the third period in 2016-17, tied for the most on the team with Marcus Johansson and T.J. Oshie.

Interesting Stat: Williams picked up his 100th point as a Capital on April 8 against the Bruins, the fourth team he’s hit the century mark with in his career. He joins Jaromir Jagr (PIT, WSH, NYR, FLA) and Michael Cammalleri (LAK, MTL, CGY, NJD) as the only other active players to have scored at least 100 points with four different teams.

The Good: It speaks to just how good Williams can be that he ended up with the numbers he did this season while at the same time getting off to such a slow start to the year. After a very quiet October and November, Williams hit the ground running in December and never looked back, finishing the year with 24 goals - tied for third-most on the team (with 19 at even strength, tied for second). That marked his second-consecutive 20-goal season, the his highest goal total since his career high of 33 back in 2006-07.

As was the case last year, Williams didn’t just score goals; he made people around him better. Every forward on the Caps’ roster who skated at least 50 minutes with him this year saw their even-strength CF% jump when alongside Williams compared to when they were apart. His own CF% was up from last year, as well (although his RelCF was down slightly - a product of his team being better at even strength, most likely, as opposed to anything he did in particular).

Williams was probably one of the best players for the Caps in their first-round series against Toronto, fueling the comeback win in Game 1 with a two-goal performance and compiling six points in six games. That included the overtime winner in Game 5 and the primary assist in the series-clinching overtime goal two nights later. He finished the postseason with nine points, two more than he had last year in one more game played.

The Bad: That slow start mentioned above? Yeah, it was really slow, as he put up just four points through the first two months of the season (21 games played). For some perspective, this was the first time in his career that he’s posted fewer than nine points through his team’s first 21 games (and just the second time he’s failed to crack double digits over that span).

Even more surprising, however, was what essentially was a no-show against the Penguins in the Caps’ second-round series (a year after a five-point effort in six games against that same team). Williams put up nine points in the playoffs, but only three of those - all assists - were against Pittsburgh. And the worst part? No points in the final three games of the series, when the team was fighting for its life - including Game 7.

The GIF/Video:

(But also this.)

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: Williams is set to be an unrestricted free agent July 1, but may have interest in coming back; if the Caps can make it work, should they? What kind of money/term would you be willing to give the soon-to-be 36-year-old Williams? What would it take for you to give him a "10" next year?

Poll

How do you rate Justin Williams’ 2016-17 season?

This poll is closed

  • 2%
    10
    (3 votes)
  • 7%
    9
    (10 votes)
  • 13%
    8
    (17 votes)
  • 39%
    7
    (50 votes)
  • 20%
    6
    (26 votes)
  • 4%
    5
    (6 votes)
  • 7%
    4
    (9 votes)
  • 1%
    3
    (2 votes)
  • 0%
    2
    (1 vote)
  • 2%
    1
    (3 votes)
127 votes total Vote Now