Washington Capitals 2010-11: What to Expect From Marcus Johansson This Season

October 6th, 2010 by Ryan Davenport Leave a reply »
As the Washington Capitals made their final cuts at the close of their 2010 training camp, they were faced with a very difficult decision regarding their third-line center for the start of the 2010-11 NHL season.  They had a close competition between Mathieu Perreault, who performed admirably during his 21-game call up in 2009-10, and 2009 first-round pick Marcus Johansson.  

Johansson ended up winning the competition. A strong preseason saw him post four points (all assists) in five games, outscoring Perreault by two points.  

Though he displayed offensive ability over the course of his audition, it was his two-way play that won over the Capitals' management group and coaching staff. General Manager George McPhee said his speed and hockey sense have him, "ahead of where Nicky Backstrom was," in terms of his ability to adapt to the North American game as a rookie.  

During the 2007-08 season Backstrom became an offensive star in the NHL. But he had an adjustment period that saw him moved to the wing early in his rookie season.  After adapting his game to better fit the more physical NHL game, he flourished and earned a sp ...

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