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.
THANK YOU, @mjohansson90! pic.twitter.com/GGT8RED3bB
— 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.
Here’s the reception #Caps fans gave to Marcus Johansson after a video tribute. pic.twitter.com/UedCCFTggL
— 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
It was sad to see MoJo go. He was the Caps first rounder in the year my younger daughter graduated from High School. So he was the symbol of her coming of age. He is of the age that would have made them classmates (due to birthday cutoffs) had they grown up in the same school district. As it turns out, my younger daughter’s boyfriend was born 2 days before MoJo.
Pingback: Capitals Cruise to Carolina | NoVa Caps
Pingback: Despite the Capitals’ Playoff Futility, Alex Ovechkin’s Mega-Contract Was and Is Not A Wasted Investment | NoVa Caps
Pingback: The Hurricanes Storm Into Town on Thursday to Kick Off Home and Home Series with Capitals | NoVa Caps
Pingback: The Capitals Look to the “Life Lessons” They’ve Learned to Keep Season Alive | NoVa Caps
Pingback: The Capitals Will Look To The “Life Lessons” They’ve Learned to Keep Season Alive | NoVa Caps
Pingback: The Capitals Will Look To “Life Lessons” They’ve Learned to Keep Season Alive | NoVa Caps
Pingback: Looking At Brian MacLellan’s Moves in 2017-18 | NoVa Caps