The Washington Capitals need to find a top 6 forward this off-season. Could left wing Matt Moulson be a fit for the Capitals in that role?
Matt Moulson: The Good
Matt Moulson is a productive top 6 forward. His point totals the past three seasons:
2011-2012: 69 points (36 goals, 33 assists) in 82 games
2013: 44 points (15 goals, 29 assists) in 47 games
2013-2014: 51 points (23 goals, 28 assists) in 75 games
2011-2012: 55.7% (10.7% higher than without him on the ice)
2013: 59.1% (12% higher than without him on the ice)
2013-2014: 53.9% (12.2% higher than without him on the ice)
Matt Moulson: The Bad
Matt Moulson is 30 years old. That’s usually right around when hockey players tend to start a noticeable decline. Of course, that isn’t always the case, but Moulson’s age has to be considered since he will probably be getting a big contract.
Moulson’s zone start percentages are a little concerning. Here are his zone start percentages (offensive zone starts / offensive zone starts + defensive zone starts) over the past three seasons:
This doesn’t necessarily mean that Moulson’s not good on defense, it simply means that his teams clearly preferred not to give him many defensive zone starts.
I think Matt Moulson would be a good fit for the Washington Capitals. His defense is a little sketchy, but if he’s utilized correctly, he could be a very valuable player for the Capitals. I’d attempt to off-set his defense by pairing him with Mikhail Grabovski (assuming he re-signs) and Troy Brouwer. Moulson would give the second line a much needed scoring option.
Putting Alex Ovechkin and Moulson on the same line might work too. Of course, under Barry Trotz‘s system, those two probably wouldn’t see too much ice time during close games late in the third period. Matt Moulson would give the Capitals flexibility. I think he’s definitely worth considering.
As always, let me know what you think in the comments!