Yay, it’s the Marcus Johansson review. Everybody loves Marcus Johansson.
|14.8||time on ice per game|
|53.6||5-on-5 shot-attempt percentage|
|55.7||5-on-5 expected goal percentage|
|45.5||5-on-5 goal percentage|
About this visualization: This series of charts made by Micah Blake McCurdy of hockeyviz.com shows lots of information for the player over the season. A short description of each chart:
For the most part, you know what you’re gonna get with Marcus Johansson.
He’s a fragile boy, yet he brings speed and puck mobility to the ice. He’s a poor finisher, yet he’s unafraid to play right up in the goal mouth. As the Capitals’ already limited speed seemed to be further waning as the season wore on, I personally was glad to see Johansson return for the stretch run. Johansson’s mobility through neutral helped Washington get more time on attack, which we can see in the rate of shots they attempted. For the season on the whole, the Caps attempted 55.4 shots per hour, but when Johansson was on the ice that number shot up to 62.7 shots per hour. No other player came close to having that impact, and to me the change was palpable.
That’s because Johansson was a classic Brian MacLellan deadline pick-up: laser-focused to address a specific problem. The problem in this case was that the Capitals were dreadfully boring on offense on account of being slow as mud. The solution was Johansson’s spritely puck-carrying and movement. I can’t help but wonder if Johansson’s contrast on attack was a talent thing or a tactical thing. I suspect that the front office feels just as worried as we do about Washington’s ability to generate rush offense, and perhaps they feel to some degree frustrated by Laviolette’s (and McCarthy’s) sedate formulations for gaining the offensive zone.
Johansson offers a tactical solution in the form of talent. He gets you across neutral and across the blue line, so, hey, quit fretting if he’s not doing it according to the team’s standard operating procedures. This sorta GM-versus-coach trick only works late in a season; the tactics would get drilled out of the player in a full season. So I doubt it’s in the plan to bring Johansson back for next season. But I’m not capable of hiding my affection for this player (who will never score on a breakaway so we should all abandon that dream). I’d love to see him play in Washington again. Judging by his quotes, I think he feels the same.
Mojo come back? Please and yes?
Read more: Japers Rink
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