For seven seasons, Marcus Johansson provided not only a spark among the forwards at the center position. He also provided a spark on the Capitals power play. Whether it was assisting on goals or providing the scoring itself, Johansson will be remembered among Caps Nation for his blue-collar work-ethic on some exciting Capitals teams. On Saturday night, Johansson made his return to Capital One Arena.
The Capitals paid tribute to Johansson with a “Thank You” video during the first television timeout of the game.
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) December 31, 2017
Johansson was appreciative of the standing ovation from Caps Nation, thanking the fans with a brief twirl on the ice.
Johansson was shipped to New Jersey after the Capitals re-signed Evgeny Kuznetsov to an eight-year deal worth 62.4 million. With the Capitals having just $4.6 million remaining in cap space, it was a move they had to make to free up some room. Johansson was traded to the Devils for a second and third round pick in 2018.
— JJ Regan (@JJReganNBCS) December 31, 2017
Johansson was drafted in 2009 in the first round at the 24th overall pick and made his NHL debut at the beginning of the 2010-11 season. He finished his rookie campaign with 13 goals and 14 assists for 27 points. During Game 4 of the first round of the playoffs against the Rangers with Washington trialing 3-0, Johansson led the comeback charge by scoring twice. That included the game-tying goal that sent the game to overtime that would ultimately lead to a thrilling double overtime win by the Capitals on a goal by Jason Chimera.
Johansson’s best season with the Capitals came in his final season as he registered a career-high 58 points with career highs in both goals (24) and assists (34) as the team captured their second consecutive Presidents’ Trophy. He not only produced career-high numbers in the regular season, he made an impact in the playoffs with a game-winning, series-clinching goal during Game 6 of the first round series against the Maple Leafs.
In all, Johansson scored 102 career goals with the Capitals while adding 188 assists for 290 points. On the power play, Johansson accounted for 26 goals and 58 assists. Johansson told the media back in the preseason when the Devils opened up hosting the Caps that he will “find it weird” facing his former team. I’m sure he found things strange being in the visiting locker room at Capital One Arena for the first time. Regardless, during the first TV timeout of the Capitals contest against the Devils, Capitals fans gave him a well-deserved standing ovation making him feel right at home. While he may be playing for a division rival now, the memories he brought to Capitals fans everywhere will never be forgotten. Welcome back MoJo and thank you for everything!
Update: On Saturday, MoJo took to his Instagram account to send a message to Caps fans:
By Michael Marzzacco