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Connor McMichael Has Done Nothing to Change Peter Laviolette’s Mind

If McMichael wants a regular sweater, he needs to do more to impress his coach.

Columbus Blue Jackets v Washington Capitals Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images

Connor McMichael continues to be a source of much conversation among Caps fans, as the forward has been a healthy scratch in all but two of the Caps’ games so far this season. Here to offer some more insight into that situation is special guest contributor and friend of the rink, Pat Holden (@pfholden):

Connor McMichael entered the season as the Caps 13th forward. This may or may not be the right decision. This may or may not be best for McMichael’s development. But, right or wrong, this is where McMichael found himself on the depth chart.

McMichael has played in two of the Caps’ first 11 games, skating an entire 15:25 at 5-on-5 in those games - and he hasn’t just been ineffective in those 15 minutes, he’s been terrible.

Granted, no player should be judged on 15 minutes of ice time, and maybe the Caps handling of McMichael is to blame for his performance. Nevertheless, if McMichael wants to get a sweater on the regular from Peter Laviolette, he has to play better than he has so far.

Just how bad has McMichael been in this miniscule 15-minute sample?

  • 438 forwards have skated 15+ minutes at 5-on-5 this season. McMichael is one of nine among this group without a shot on goal.
  • McMichael is one of two forwards (again, out of 438) without a shot attempt.
  • He ranks 437th in on-ice shot attempt percentage (16.01 percent) and 436th in xGoals percentage (13.53 percent)
  • The Caps have been outshot 17-4 with McMichael on the ice. The team has only been outscored 1-0 thanks to a 94.12 save percentage from Caps goalies

This isn’t meant to be an indictment of MicMichael as a player nor an endorsement of the way the Caps have handled him. But ultimately, McMichael has to play better with the limited opportunities he’s had or else he’s not going to earn the trust of Laviolette.