Photo: NHL via Getty Images
After recording a then-career high 63 points and capping off the 2017-18 with a Stanley Cup championship, Capitals defenseman John Carlson had already had himself a solid season. This season, however, has seen the former first-round pick (27th overall in 2008) flourish even more and he has continued to add to his impressive career to this point, as he recorded his 400th career point in the Capitals’ 4-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday night.
With a goal and assist in the victory, Carlson reached 400 points in his nearly 10 seasons in the NHL, becoming the fifth Capitals’ blueliner ever to do so, joining Calle Johansson, Scott Stevens, Kevin Hatcher, and Sergei Gonchar (in descending order). Carlson needs 17 points to pass Gonchar for fourth-place and 75 more to become the franchise leader in scoring for defensemen. Carlson passed former teammate Mike Green earlier this season for fifth-place and under current Head Coach and former Assistant Coach Todd Reirden, Carlson has evolved into one of the NHL’s best rearguards, recording three seasons (including this season’s career-high 67) of 50 or more points.
Oshie’s reaction to Carlson hitting the 400 point mark is so pure ❤️ pic.twitter.com/Z6w82TWSrz
— NBC Sports Capitals (@NBCSCapitals) March 27, 2019
Carlson’s 400th point came on an assist on Nicklas Backstrom’s empty-net goal at the 17:33 mark of the third period. Heading into the game, Carlson ranked fourth in scoring among all NHL defensemen and will likely be in the conversation for the Norris Trophy as the NHL’s Best Defenseman. Despite leading all blueliners in scoring last season, Carlson finished fifth in voting, after finishing 10th in 2015.
With five games left to play in the 2018-19 regular season, Carlson is three points shy of his first 70-point season and has been one of the Capitals’ best players this season. With the Caps looking to defend their Stanley Cup title, Carlson will be an important player heading into the spring tournament.
By Michael Fleetwood