Capitals Breakdown: Marcus Johansson

Capitals Breakdown: Marcus Johansson
June 10, 2013, 10:15 am
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Washington Capitals center Marcus Johansson (90) during the game against the Buffalo Sabres at the First Niagara Center. Capitals beat the Sabres 4-3 in a shootout.

(Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports)

CSNWashington.com Capitals Insider Chuck Gormley will evaluate the 2012-13 performance of each player on the Caps roster. One breakdown will occur every day in alphabetical order. Today: Marcus Johansson

Marcus Johansson

Position: Left Wing/Center

Shoots: Left

Age: 22

Ht/Wt: 6-1, 200

Games: 34

Goals: 6

Assists: 16

Points: 22

Penalty Minutes: 4

Plus-Minus: Plus-3

Average Ice Time: 16:35

Contract Status: Restricted Free Agent [$900,000 cap hit in 2012-13]

Strengths: Although he received the least credit for Alex Ovechkin’s bounce-back season, Johansson’s speed and creativity was a big factor in the resurgence of the Capitals’ top line. The third-year Swede rebounded from a concussion to record five goals and 16 assists in his final 25 games, most of them spent with Ovechkin and center Nicklas Backstrom. Johansson also showed excellent discipline, taking just two minor penalties in the regular season and none in the playoffs.

Weaknesses: Johansson literally crossed paths with Ovechkin during a training camp drill and tried to play through concussion symptoms for the first three weeks of the season. The result was one goal and no assists in his first nine games. Johansson turned things around in the second half of the season but for the second straight year he struggled in the post-season with one goal, one assist and a minus-3 rating. In 30 career playoff games Johansson has four goals, seven assists and is a minus-11.

Memorable Moment: It was a scary one and it came on Jan. 15 at Kettler Capitals Iceplex when newly ordained right wing Alex Ovechkin roamed into the middle of the ice and collided with Johansson at full speed. Ovechkin suffered a cut on his chin and Johansson joked afterward that it was a “pretty big hit” from a “pretty big guy.” Weeks later Caps coach Adam Oates acknowledged Johansson was bothered by concussion symptoms due to the collision with Ovechkin.

2013-14 Expectations: Johansson has shown enough flashes over his first three years in the league to make fans wonder when he’ll have a breakthrough season. If he had played a full NHL season Johansson’s prorated numbers would have been 14 goals and 39 assists for a career-high 53 points. But if he’s a top-line winger – and you can bet he’ll try to be paid like one this summer – Johansson should aim for between 25 and 30 goals and 65 to 70 points