The Key Stat: 0. In his 18 games with the Capitals this season, Marcus Johansson took zero penalties. He only took two minors in Seattle before the deadline, putting him at 4 PIM in 69 games. Among NHL players who appeared in at least 69 games this season, only one player had fewer PIMs than Johansson (Seattle teammate Riley Sheahan, 2 PIM) and just two skaters (Jesper Fast and Kyle Connor) matched him at 4.
The Good: It was just so nice to see Johansson back in a Caps’ sweater this year, especially after the salary dump trade that saw him depart for New Jersey the offseason before the Caps won the Cup. He was happy to be back, his former teammates were happy to have him back in the locker room, and spirits were high all around. He was having a solid rebound year in Seattle and is a dependable middle-six forward, so his appeal at the deadline made sense. Part of what makes Johansson so dependable is his discipline on the ice and therefore low penalty rate. He game is very levelheaded, making him a great asset at all times but especially when he takes the ice with certain, less disciplined forwards (looking at you, Kuznetsov).
The Bad: Reacquiring Marcus Johansson at the deadline was good for the soul, but did not make as much of an impact as everyone had hoped. He struggled immediately after the trade, likely in part due to Coach Laviolette playing him on his off-hand to slot in as the top line right-wing for a while. He settled in a bit better after getting bumped down to the second and third lines, but he still struggled to get consistent offensive production going. That offensive struggle is not new; Johansson has struggled with injuries throughout his career, and he has been unable to recreate the higher offensive production he had in his first stint in Washington.
The Caps were probably looking for Johansson to make an impact in the postseason, and he was a relative non-factor. He did record the game-winner as well as one assist in Game 3, which happened to be the Caps’ last win of the series, but other than that he was pretty quiet. He was by no means bad, but he did not provide any sort of spark that teams often hope to get from trade deadline additions.
The Discussion: Could Johansson have found more post-deadline success with different lineup choices? Should the Capitals consider bringing him back for next season? If so, what should that contract look like? And finally, what would it take for you to give Johansson a 10 next season?
The Vote: Rate Marcus 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.
How do you rate Marcus Johansson’s 2021-22 season?
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