Photo: Chris Gordon, defaced by me
Of all the new defensemen the Caps suited up the season, Connor Carrick lasted the longest. The rookie had a bit of a rollercoaster season– one of those rollercoasters where you almost fall out or get hit in the face by a swan or something.
By the Numbers
|15.7||Average time on ice per game|
|43.9%||Shot attempt percentage during 5v5|
|38.9%||Goal percentage during 5v5|
|7.4%||On-ice shooting percentage during 5v5|
|92.1%||On-ice saving percentage during 5v5|
Somewhat infamously, the Caps fielded 14 defensemen this season. Among them was 5′ 10″ Connor Carrick, who made the team as a rookie based on a strong preseason. Things started off splendidly with Carrick’s first NHL goal in early October, but it went south really, really quick.
For all of our kvetching about the Caps’ need for a top-four defenseman, it was Carrick’s third pairing that really got dominated. Relative to when he was on the bench, Carrick got outshot more than any other full-time D-man who wasn’t so totally obviously playing through an injury. Somewhat ironically, it was when Carrick and John Erskine paired up that they each did best– not getting outscored and directing more Caps shots towards the other team’s net compared to when they were apart.
Still, it’s impossible to look at Carrick’s rookie year without gloom. Carrick was in over his head, particularly when he didn’t have a veteran at his flank, and he earned the rest he got in mid-March. Perhaps he’ll be rejuvenated in October, and we’ll see the results on the ice.
Connor on RMNB
- Chris Gordon wrote a stellar profile of Carrick back in September. All of that promise may still be valid next season. We shall see.
- Pierre McGuire knows everything about everyone– except little “Corey” Carrick.
- Connor was the first defenseman from the 2012 draft to play in the NHL. You can read that as an affirmation of the player’s talent or a revelation of the team’s defensive flaws. Your call.
- On his rookie season: “It’s been tough.” Ian’s interview with Carrick from March is a must read. The guy has a good head on his shoulders. He’ll be okay.
Sidney Crosby, whom I am contractually obligated to call the Greatest Player on Earth whenever I mention his name, pulled a dick move on little Cricket.
Is Connor Carrick a viable NHL defenseman? Where did his season go wrong: linemates, systems, lack of experience, or something else? Where is his game lacking and what about it do you like so far?