Today begins the annual season preview and projections for every Washington Capitals player. We start with the first Washington Capitals player in alphabetical order (by last name): Karl Alzner.
Karl Alzner’s 2013-2014 Season In Review
Karl Alzner might have had somewhat of a down year in 2013-2014, but there were definitely some good things. Alzner set a career high with 18 points and tied his career high in goals with two. He set a career high in shots as well with 95. Alzner was quite valuable on the penalty kill, as he spent the sixth most minutes on the penalty kill of any NHL player (3:32 per game). He also faced a high quality of competition, second on the Capitals to partner John Carlson.
Karl Alzner had numerous defensive miscues, which is something that Capitals fans are not used to seeing from Alzner. I’ll chalk that up to Calle Johansson‘s poor system because Alzner has noticeably regressed under Johansson. He rarely made defensive miscues before Johansson. I’ll also chalk that up to fatigue because Alzner had to spend way too much time playing shorthanded.
Best Moment From 2013-2014
His goal against the Phoenix Coyotes. To this day, I’m still not sure how that puck found the back of the net and how it wasn’t stopped.
Worst Moment From 2013-2014
Prime example of the defensive miscues that Karl Alzner was prone to last year.
What To Expect From Karl Alzner In 2014-2015
I expect Karl Alzner to be a solid top four defenseman in 2014-2015. If anyone can fix Karl Alzner and help him return to what he was (an awesome shutdown defenseman), it’s Barry Trotz. I expect Alzner to bounce back from his rough 2013-2014 season and show why he was once considered to be one of the better young defensemen in the NHL.From a points perspective, I could not care less about how many points Karl Alzner scores because that’s just not something that he does. He could score zero points and I wouldn’t care as long as he is a solid shutdown defensemen. He’s paid to be a stay-at-home defensemen and to shut down high quality opponents.
I also don’t think that Corsi% will be a fair way to judge Karl Alzner in 2014-2015. Chances are he’ll be seeing a high number of defensive zone starts against opponents’ top lines. That all but ensures that Alzner’s Corsi% is not going to be pretty. However, I do expect it to be at least 48%. If it’s above 50% (which would mean that the Capitals outshoot their opponents while Alzner is on the ice), I would be ecstatic.
For Karl Alzner’s season to be a success, he needs to have a high quality of competition (which would mean that he’s playing against tough competition), average 18 minutes per game, and continue to be a stud on the penalty kill.
With the help of Barry Trotz and the coaching staff, Karl Alzner will be more aggressive with the puck and set career highs in points and goals.
NEXT UP: Nicklas Backstrom