“We May Soon Start Calling Him John ‘Mc’Carlson”

“He has been a leading defender in the league for three to four years, but this start is a little sick. We may soon start calling him John McCarlson,” says Nicklas Bäckström.

That comment may seem a bit bold, but is it? John Carlson is the current NHL scoring leader, a moniker typically reserved for the likes of Connor McDavid.

But Carlson’s latest accolades go much further than leading the league in points. Carlson is one of just three defenders in NHL history to score 18 points in a season’s first 10 games, joining Paul Coffey and Bobby Orr. That’s upper atmosphere, too be sure.

Last night Carlson extended his ‘consecutive games with an assist’ streak to seven games, trailing only Mike Green and Scott Stevens by one game for the franchise record. Carlson will look to tie the the Capitals record Tuesday night in Calgary.

“He has been a leading back in the league for three to four years, but this start is a little sick. We may soon start calling him John McCarlson, says Nicklas Bäckström . But he is just as good defensively as offensively, which is why I think it’s only a matter of time before he wins the Norris Trophy.”

Additionally, Carlson joined Tomas Kaberle (17 in 2009-10) as just the second defenseman in NHL history to factor in on 17 of his team’s first 30 goals of any season (excluding shootout-deciding goals

Also, only two defensemen in NHL history have recorded more three-point performances throughout their team’s first nine games.

There are more Carlson accolades to present, but I’ll get to the point. Any defenseman reaching this level of milestones, both for a season, and for a career, and to not have received significant recognition for the Norris Trophy screams colossal voting blunder by the awards voters.

Carlson was fifth in the Norris voting in 2017-18 after he led defensemen with 68 points (15 goals, 53 assists). The only other time in Carlson’s 11 NHL seasons that he received Norris votes was in 2014-15, when he finished 10th.

Yes, the Norris is an “all around” defensive player award, but you get my point. Carlson is top-tier. Hopefully they’ll get it right at least one time before Carlson retires.

Carlson told NHL.com, “For a defenseman, I just think there’s so much luck involved,” Carlson said. “I think I’m making good plays, don’t get me wrong. I’m not just dumping the puck in, although I did have one or two of those as well. But chances happen, chances get created and sometimes they go in and sometimes they don’t. They seem to be going in right now, which is nice, so I’ll just keep working the same way.”

By Jon Sorensen

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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4 Responses to “We May Soon Start Calling Him John ‘Mc’Carlson”

  1. Pingback: John Carlson Named Second Star of the Week | NoVa Caps

  2. Anonymous says:

    Norris Trophy consideration really! He should done have one on his mantle already. He’s quite an unassuming hockey player notice by his teammates and for sure those that play against him. Does he skate like Bobby Orr, shoot the puck with speeds of a Alex Ovechkin, and/or hit like Scott Stevens? He’s invaluable to his hockey club and hopefully this is his year to receive that hardware.

  3. Pingback: Make it Eight! John Carlson Extends Point Streak to Eight Games With Second Period Goal | NoVa Caps

  4. Pingback: John Carlson Extends Points Streak, Reaches 20 Points In October | NoVa Caps

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