Washington Capitals center, Marcus Johansson is preparing to wrap up his training for the 2011-2012 NHL season, his second one in the league. Last year, Johansson played in 69 contests for the Capitals prior to the NHL Playoffs and recorded a pretty average, for rookies, 27 points in his first season. Johansson, who saw most of his time centering the third and fourth line believes he is now ready for a supporting role on the second line, possibly centering Alexander Semin and Joel Ward or Troy Brouwer. He will be competing with, who now seems to be a veteran on the team, Brooks Laich for the second line center position.
However, Johansson better have been working on his conditioning this offseason. It seemed as the past season wore on, it took quite a toll on Johansson’s body. He seemed to be wore out at times leading into the playoffs but kept giving 100% effort even through the Capitals second round loss to their divisional rival, the Tampa Bay Lightning. With that being said, not being in top condition didn’t stop Johansson from putting up six points (2 G, 4 A) in the playoffs. Both of Johansson’s goals came in the dramatic come from behind victory against the New York Rangers in game four of that series. Johansson’s work-ethic speaks for itself and will lead to him being a great center in this league, for any team he plays for.
“I trained a little different this summer to feel better the whole year and we’ll see how that works, and I’ll go from that next year.” -Marcus Johansson, Washington Capitals Center
With the possibility of centering the second line this coming season, Johansson is projected to be in the top six players on the Capitals roster in time-on-ice this season. Therefore, the more conditioning the better for Johansson and the Capitals. Johansson will look to avoid having a sophomore slump in his second go-around with the Capitals, and even look to make a name for himself in the league with a breakout season, something quite normal for many of the Capitals younger players. Heading in to training camp I believe that Brooks Laich will be the second line center, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Marcus Johansson came out leading the second line in either the preseason or the Capitals first game of the season.