Photo credit: Elise Amendola
The real question is, which is the real John Carlson? Was it the John Carlson who stumbled through the regular season, seemingly unfamiliar with the concept of ice hockey? Or was it the solid young defenseman that showed up in time for the playoffs, once again becoming one of the mainstays of the Capitals’ blueline?
For all our sakes, we are hoping it is the second. Sophomore year is over; it’s time for John Carlson to come out of the slump.
Cap Hit: $845,833. Carlson is RFA on July 1st.
Milestones: Carlson was on ice for 100 goals against in the regular season.
Best Moment: This lovely wrister against the Rangers:
Things We Said About John Carlson: “Could someone please bring back the real John Carlson?” “Oh never mind, we found him.”
Alignment: Chaotic Evil (Regular Season) / Lawful Good (Playoffs)
First Irrelevant Google Images Result:
John Carlson is a pretty common name, we take it.
Media Consensus: “John Carlson is… struggling a bit.”
Alternate Universe Superhero Identity: Captain America ®. (We owe Marvel a nickel.)
Spirit Animal: A frog.
Photo credit: Tim Koch
Team Role: Carlson was expected to face tough competition and tough minutes every night alongside Karl Alzner, and keep opposing top lines contained while occasionally chipping in some offense of his own.
Execution of that Role: John Carlson’s regular season was a horror show. We wanted to trust him with the minutes he held down brilliantly last year, but that got a little unnecessarily exciting. Led all players in YellingAtMyTV/60. It is important to note here, though, that Carlson played a full season of hockey while also starring in two movies this year, “Captain America” and “The Avengers”. We feel that earns him a little slack.
Postseason Performance: Carlson won us back over again in the playoffs, leading the D in hits, shots, blocks, and overall scoring, really seeming to heat up by the Rangers round with two goals in three games. We assume that he hit his head and remembered that he was John Carlson, sterling young defender, and immediately went to work.
Carlson has the bad luck to come alphabetically after Brouwer. Four out of ten.
Likeliness to Return: Nine out of ten. Carlson is RFA, and Alzner helpfully set the bar for his salary by allowing GMGM to charm him into signing for peanuts. We’re hoping Carlson’s agent is just as susceptible. According to Elliotte Friedman, he could be a possible Norris contender someday — we’d like it if he was still in a Caps uniform when that happened.
Usefulness in a Post-Apocalyptic Setting: Could be very helpful, but we’d feel a lot more comfortable if Karl Alzner came along, too.
Overall Year-End Rating: Five Good Sashas