May 13, 2013; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Capitals center Marcus Johansson (90), Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom (19), Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8), and Capitals defenseman John Carlson (74) watch from the bench against the New York Rangers in the third period in game seven of the first round of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Verizon Center. The Rangers won 5-0 and won the series 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

J.P.'s Forward Analysis

The lead banana over at Japer’s Rink, J.P., wrote a really nice article today analyzing the advanced statistics of the Caps’ forwards.

(article: http://www.japersrink.com/2013/7/29/4560892/bucket-list-how-caps-forwards-stack-up)

What I liked:

I liked what the stats said about the first line after they were reunited late in the season. Specifically, how they got better with puck possession during that time. The shooting percentage numbers are clearly impressive, as they reflect the skill that line has.

I also liked what the stats said about the third line. Teams cannot make it far in the postseason without having a deep roster, so this is a positive sign for Washington. It can’t be too positive when the second line remains a question mark, but hey, you gotta start somewhere. Other than Aaron Volpatti, I am also confident in next year’s fourth line.

What I didn’t like:

I understand that the advanced numbers show that Marcus Johansson got way better after his concussion early in the season, but it’s still nerve-racking to me. Without knowing what is contract numbers look like yet, I’m worried about overpaying a “nice” player. Speed and skill is all we’ve seen from MoJo, and if the Caps are going to risk overpaying a borderline first-liner, I’d like it to be someone who has more of a complete game.

I definitely didn’t like the fact that the Caps have the highest paid forwards on a per-player basis. Those kinds of salary numbers should be for contending teams, not teams that struggle mightily to advance past the first round.

It should go without saying that the second line numbers weren’t exactly thrilling, but that’s been an understood fact of life in D.C. for the past few years. And, I’m fine with it. I’d rather see the Caps wait for Kuznetsov, assuming that Grabovski will probably be overpaid at this point in the free agency war.

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Tags: Japer's Rink Marcus Johansson Washington Capitals

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