Grading the overall defense of Capitals at season's end

A healthy defense would've made the first round a little more competitive
John Carlson, Washington Capitals
John Carlson, Washington Capitals / Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

With the Washington Capitals season complete it's time for some grades. After grading the coaching and the offense it's time to grade the defense.

In the playoffs, the Capitals allowed 15 goals which was the eighth most in the league entering Saturday night's Game 7 between the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs. We are enjoying that one casually as we also watch the Bears with Game 2 airing at 7 p.m. on Monumental Sports Network.

In the regular season the Caps allowed 252 total goals to the opposition which is an average of 3.07 goals against per game. On special teams on the penalty kill the Caps were ranked 19th in the league with a PK percentage of 79 percent.

Leading the way was John Carlson with a career high and NHL leading average ice time of 25:54 minutes per game. He helped navigate a defense that was hurt by being the one constant who was the lone defenseman to suit up in all 82 games this season. Carlson had 10 goals and 42 assists for 52 points.

Rasmus Sandin was right behind him with three goals and 20 assists for 23 points. Martin Fehervary, another young buck, had three goals and 13 assists for 16 points. Trevor van Riemsdyk added 14 assists.

Some players contributed in some games like Lucas Johansen, Dylan McIlrath, Vincent Iorio and Hardy Haman Aktell. Joel Edmundson would be traded to the Maple Leafs. Ethan Bear entered the NHL Player Assistance Program just before the regular season ended.

Overall for what it's worth, I thought the defense did alright given the adversity they were dealt with.

Grade B: John Carlson helps get the Caps defense above the curve with the MVP like season that he had. He also became the third ever player in Capitals history to reach 1,000 career games all with the Caps, joining Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom.

What makes Carlson different is he's the first defenseman in Capitals franchise history to reach that mark. That just shows how durable he is and how strong of a leader he is to the younger defensemen.