Thursday, October 14, 2010

Hold The Calder

With his winning resume, John Carlson's first full season in the NHL has been greeted with hope and quite a bit of fanfare. His offensive performance in his first 4 games of the season is nothing short of impressive, as he currently leads all rookies and is tied for the lead among defensemen in scoring (the 'P.K. Who?' shirts will be printed shortly).

But lost in the hype is the inexperience in Carlson's game and his frequent positioning issues (hint: he's in the 'Bad' section). So far this season, the Capitals have surrendered 9 goals. Carlson has been on the ice for 6 of those goals (67%), highest on the team by 2 goals. By comparison, Mike 'no defense' Green has only seen one opposition puck behind Michal Neuvirth while on the ice. Jeff Schultz is still defensively perfect on the season.

Much like Green, things happen when Carlson is on the ice. Of the 23 total goals scored for and against the Caps this season, John has seen 13 while on the ice (56%). Tied for next highest? Yeah, the Alexes, with 9. For reference, last season Mike Green was on the ice for only 44% of the total goals scored in Caps games. And in Paul Coffey's most adventurous season, he was also on the ice for 56% of all goals scored.

We simply need to remember that, despite winning a WJC, 2 AHL Championships and playing big in last year's NHL playoffs, John Carlson is still a rookie with only 33 NHL games under his belt. He'll get better, but he's going to be a bit of an adventure in the meantime.

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