When it comes to the Capitals third line only two things have remained constant. Those two things, Jason Chimera and Joel Ward. The two have remained on the third line playing on the wings with a new center. They started the season with Mikhail Grabovski, who made the line one of the hottest 3rd lines in the NHL. Last game they saw two different centers, Martin Erat and Brooks Liach. Now, they will be centered by young Marcus Johansson. So what will the young Swede bring to the third line?
Marcus has seen the most time on the “top” line with fellow Swede Nick Backstrom, but now Capitals coach, Adam Oates, has decided to move the struggling Johansson (2.2 Shooting % even strength) off of the top lines, and down with grinders Joel Ward and Jason Chimera. The move makes sense, getting someone who can score higher while moving a struggling forward down.
Johansson should work well with Jason Chimera’s speed and with both wingers physicality. Both wingers find their way to the net and Johansson has the ability to get the puck to them to score. Getting to the net will be key for the line, and Marcus has the ability to play below the goal. Marcus is a catalyst on the powerplay below the net, which is why he has the second most assist on the team.
You can see Joel Ward’s opinion on the new linemate here.