Old pic, but so good. (Photo: Mitchell Layton)
If you’re looking for ransom, Big John Erskine can tell you he doesn’t have money. But what he does have is a very particular set of skills, skills he has acquired over a very long career. Skills that make him a nightmare for people like you.
|15.3||Average time on ice per game|
|45.7%||Shot attempt percentage during 5v5|
|44.7%||Goal percentage during 5v5|
|9.5%||On-ice shooting percentage during 5v5|
|90.3%||On-ice saving percentage during 5v5|
How do you even analyze a player like John Erskine? He is exactly what you think he is: a huge, not particularly fast, physical D-man with a talent for face-punching and a cannon (not a muffin) of a slapshot. That’s the kind of player you want occupying the 7D slot, ready to join the team in particular situations or when someone is hurt. Except in 2013-14, Erskine was the one playing hurt, rushed back from reconstructive knee surgery, and taking shifts with the greenest noobs on the team’s roster. It did not go well.
That’s too much responsibility, and the Caps paid for it. When Ersk was on the ice– against pretty soft competition– the Caps got lit up with shots. John’s traditionally high on-ice save percentage plummeted to a team low 90.3 percent. No Caps players had a higher goals against/60 rate than John. It was rough, and the things Erskine was known to do pretty well– being a physical force in the slot, emancipating blood from the faces of his enemies– didn’t happen much.
So. Yeah. Rough season.
— Washington Capitals (@washcaps) February 20, 2014
Is John Erskine gonna play more than 30 games next season? If he does, will that be a good thing or a bad thing?
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