John Carlson will have the season he should’ve had last year

John Carlson, Washington Capitals Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
John Carlson, Washington Capitals Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports /

Injuries happen in sports. You can’t avoid them. But some teams get banged up more than others. The Washington Capitals had their unfortunate share of that last season. Even on their most historic night of the season, they lost John Carlson minutes before Alex Ovechkin scored his 802nd career goal to move past Gordie Howe for second place all time.

Carlson should’ve been out there celebrating with his long time teammates. Instead he blocked a shot from former Capital Brenden Dillon that hit his head.

In fact I think he was even on the stretcher on the way to the ambulance when 802 happened. He heard the roars from the crowd above him.

Up until that injury, Carlson played in 30 games and was on his way to his best offensive season of his career had that injury not happened. He had eight goals and 13 assists for 21 points. He had to wait three months to fully heal from it before he got back on the ice.

In all he had nine goals and 20 assists for 29 points playing in 10 more games post injury. 40 games total is one game less than half a season. But what can he do if he plays a full season this year?

His career high in goals was 17 in the 2021 22 season. That was in 78 games. If he plays all 82 I could see him hitting the 20 goal mark which is not just good offensive numbers for a defenseman but Mike Green numbers.

Mike Green had an astronomical 31 goals in 2008 09. 31 is a little too much but 20 could put Carlson in the driver’s seat for the Norris Trophy. If he can add 61 assists for 81 points, then he’ll really be in the driver’s seat unless Roman Josi has something to say about it.

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I feel like Carlson will be paired with Rasmus Sandin up top. That would be the way to go to make both players better.