While the Washington Capitals’ series against the New York Rangers was going on and Alex Ovechkin had a game without a shot, Marcus Johansson took a question about that to shoulder some of the blame for a lack of offense.
“I don’t think I had a shot on net either. I have to be better, too. I have to help the team win,” he said. “Whether it’s scoring goals or blocking shots or whatever it is, we have to all do it together.”
Johansson was similarly critical after the Caps’ playoff run ended. His postseason was less than stellar with one goal, two assists and a minus-6 rating in 14 games.
He knew it.
“It was tough. We played 14 tough games and it was tough performing as you always want to do. Those 14 games were probably the 14 toughest games we ever played here,” Johansson said Monday. “It was tough and I wish I maybe contributed more with scoring goals and stuff like that. You can’t always be the goal-scorer in games like this. Most of the games it was one or two goals. It’s tough to score and it’s tough to do all that stuff.”
Johansson often passed up opportunities to shoot the puck created with his speed. Perhaps that would have gone a long way toward solving what the 21-year-old thought was his biggest problem: “Putting the puck in the net.”
“I think I had my chances and I could’ve scored more, maybe. You always try to see it as, as long as you get your chances you know you’re not playing too bad,” he said. “I think there obviously were some positive things. But obviously you always want to score more, and you want to do everything you can to help the team win. Scoring is a big thing for doing that.”
Ex-coach Dale Hunter praised Johansson’s speed while recognizing production wasn’t there.
“He didn’t get the scoring or the assists and stuff but he created opportunities because the D had to throw the puck around and we’d get opportunities from it,” Hunter said.
But Johansson likes to score, too. And consistency in that department is something he’ll need to improve on moving into his third NHL season.