Welcome to Caps 'Round the Clock, a blog covering the Washington Capitals and the NHL. In season, I update the Blog after every practice and on game day with Caps news and information, and then provide a recap and analysis after each contest. I also write a periodical Prospect Watch and weekly feature pieces on the state of the Men in Red and other things Capitals. And of course, I will post videos and tidbits from around the League and offer my two cents as the season wears on. In the offseason, I write a Report Card for each player, and will keep you updated on all the news about the Caps through the summer. I'm glad you're here, and hope you come back!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Report Card: Marcus Johansson

D-d-dangles.  More, please.
Today I bring you the twenty-first installment in my "Report Card" series, as I continue my evaluation of each Capital throughout this past regular season and playoffs.  Today's player is Swedish center Marcus Johansson, who finished his second year in the organization this season.

Stats/Season Summary: Johansson played in 69 games this year, tallying 13 goals, 14 assists, a +2 rating, and 10 penalty minutes.  He missed almost all of his games in late October and early November with a lower body injury that many thought to be a groin injury.  Overall, he skated almost all of his minutes in the top nine, seeing time with Alex Ovechkin, Alex Semin, and Washington's other stars for spurts as well as centering the third line for long stretches.  MoJo also saw extended power play and penalty kill time as his ice time and role expanded.  He also got significantly better as the season wore along; his stats in the first half were rather anemic whereas his second half performance had Pierre McGuire gushing. Grade: B+
Role Play: Johansson wasn't originally expected to make the team, but when he did, it became clear that Bruce Boudreau wanted him to take on a scoring role from the beginning.  The slick Swede struggled with this at first, but as the year went on, he got better.  Boudreau tried to give him the second line center role full time at one point, which he wasn't ready for, but overall, he did was he was supposed to do and more, always collecting what seemed like clutch points down the stretch.  He exceeded all expectations, because to be honest, not many people, including me, expected much of anything very productive out of him this season. Grade: A
Playoffs: MoJo had an excellent playoffs, tallying two goals, four assists, a -2 rating, and 0 PIMs.  He was pretty consistent, too, and scored the second and third goals in game four of the Rangers series that probably allowed the Caps to win that game and make the second round in the playoffs.  For such a young player, he showed great poise as well in the postseason, poise that some veterans did not show.  He even managed two points in the Tampa series. Grade: B-
Future Potential: Johansson has all the tools, it's just a matter of putting them together and developing some more consistency.  He's fast, he can play defense, he can score, and he can't even drink yet (legally).  MoJo has nowhere to go but up, and he has the potential to score 80 or more points in a season with regularity, which would certainly solve the Caps's second line center problem for many years to come. Grade: A

The next report card will be posted on June 4th and will feature Brooks Laich.

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