John Carlson's Having an Ovie Kinda Season
With few exceptions, defensemen aren't designed to be scoring leaders.
Two of them, though, were legendary:
- Bobby Orr, who revolutionized the concept and changed the game in the process, and
- Paul Coffey, who some would say was the first rear forward for sometimes being a defensive blueliner in name only.
Those two dudes dominate the stat sheet in single-season point totals:
Incidentally, coming in at No 11 was that motorcycle ridin' blueline bomber, Al MacInnis, who's best-year tally tied Coffey at 28+75=90.
Dude coulda scored more goals but disdained empty-netters, slamming pucks into the boards instead when the occasions presented themselves. With a triple-digit heater, MacInnis kinda enjoyed doing that, anyway.
Slapshots in excess of 100mph is more common these days, and the current leader in the clubhouse would be the Washington Capitals' John Carlson.
Safe to say, Carlson's got it all.
It's even safer to state dude's in the process of putting together of the best offensive seasons for a defenseman in NHL history, quietly notching two more assists in Washington's 6-1 win over Ottawa last night.
They were part of the Cap blueliners racking up a goal and five helpers on the evening:
Carlson now has 54 points -- 13 goals, 41 assists -- on the season, which not only leads the Capitals in scoring but ranks 10th in the entire NHL, one point behind Sabres center Jack Eichel (55) and two points ahead of Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews (52).
- Carlson's 1.23 points per game is projecting to be the first season above the 1.2 threshold by a defenseman in 25 years, according to FiveThirtyEight.
- If he keeps it up, he'll finish the season with 99 points, which would be the most by a blueliner since Brian Leetch notched 102 during the 1991-92 season.
Alex Ovechkin foretold what sorta campaign this was gonna be for Carlson 'way back at the season's start and went on record with it:
So far, dude's living up to the hype.
As part of Washington's relentless scoring juggernaut, there's also no end in sight.
What's more, Carlson's got the full game:
It is if the Caps wanna pick up their second Cup.
It may come in handy again this June.