Through the first four months of the season, Capitals forward Marcus Johansson had 30 points in 44 games. For the following three months, he had just 16 in 30 games played. Finishing the regular season with 17 goals, 29 assists, and 46 point, Johansson failed to improve on his career-high 20-goal, 47-point season a year ago. However, Johansson’s somewhat streaky scoring to finish the season seems to have been nothing more than an aberration; that and the fact the entire team did not play as well as they had when he was scoring more consistently.
In the Capitals’ first two playoff games, the 25-year old Swede has four assists. He recorded two apiece in each game and has played extremely well in the last several games, making Johansson just the 3rd Capitals player in franchise history with at least 2 assists in the first 2 playoff games. (Calle Johansson & Joe Juneau). Marcus Johansson is also the first Capitals player with 2 straight multi-assist games in playoffs since Jaromir Jagr vs TB in ’03.
But the good thing for the Caps is that Johansson can be dominant when he starts scoring consistently and that is something the Caps will need if they hope to advance. In the earlier part of the season, Johansson was given second-line minutes as a result of his offensive production and responsible two-way play. His versatility (he can play any of the three forward positions) also makes him an extremely valuable asset. And if Johansson can continue heating up, the Caps will be an even more dangerous team to play.
By Michael Fleetwood