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2018-19 Rink Wrap: John Carlson

From Backstrom to Wilson, we’re taking a look at and grading the 2018-19 season for every player who laced ‘em up for the Stanley Cup Champion Caps for a significant number of games during the campaign, with an eye towards 2019-20. Next up, John Carlson.

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Washington Capitals at Carolina Hurricanes James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Regular season


Key Stat: 57 assists marked a new career high for Captain America, giving him career bests in consecutive years in that category. 33 of those assists came on the powerplay, which is one more than he accumulated last year, and was also a career best at the time.

The Good: Assists weren’t the only stat for which John Carlson set a new career best. His 70 points were two greater than last year’s 68, and in two fewer games no less. That gives Carly 138 points over his last two seasons, which is more than his previous three seasons combined. And really it’s not the raw point output that’s the most important thing here, though of course that’s great. What’s important is timing — John Carlson appears to have taken a meaningful step in the quality of play he’s able to deliver night in and night out, and he’s doing it on the heels of signing an eight year, 64-million dollar contract. Those are some serious dollars, and while there’s a long way to go on measuring the return in that investment, so far so good. Oh, and he became the fifth Capitals defenseman ever to hit 400 points.

The Bad: There isn’t a whole lot that was bad about Carlson’s season, but it was only the second time in Carlson’s career that he didn’t score a goal in the playoffs, and only notched a single even strength point in seven games. The 2.74 goals against per 60 minutes of 5v5 of Carlson’s TOI was the highest such figure since 2011-2012, and the second highest of his career, but it’s unfair to mention that without also pointing out that he more than made up for that on the other side of the GF% coin.

The Video:

The Charts:


The Discussion: Has John Carlson’s performance changed your opinion of his contract? Is John Carlson just now entering his prime? How might you utilize him next year, and with whom as a defensive partner? What is your perception of how John Carlson changed under Reid Cashman’s tutelage? What would it take for you to give him a ‘10’ next season?

Other Carlson Season Reviews: RMNB

The Vote: Rate Carlson 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.


How do you rate John Carlson’s 2018-19 season?

This poll is closed

  • 5%
    (9 votes)
  • 25%
    (39 votes)
  • 35%
    (53 votes)
  • 20%
    (31 votes)
  • 5%
    (9 votes)
  • 4%
    (7 votes)
  • 0%
    (1 vote)
  • 0%
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    (0 votes)
  • 1%
    (2 votes)
151 votes total Vote Now