You’re Still Our Norris Winner, John Carlson

Posted September 21, 2020

(Caps Outsider)

So after an extra-long season, and then more waiting, the results are in, and Caps defender John Carlson is not the Norris Trophy winner of the asterisk-heavy 2019-20 season. Instead, he finished as runner-up, or Silver Medal, or Loser, to Nashville’s Roman Josi. His point totals said: yes of course he’s Norris but stat geeks pointed to, apparently, info that showed that he wasn’t THAT good on defense.

Victor Hedman of the Tampa Bay Lightning was the other finalist but he could still be a Stanley Cup champion this season so let’s not feel sorry for him.

In Washington, however, Carlson had a season for the ages, leading the Caps in points with 75 (in 69 games), assists with 60 (18 more than Nicklas Backstrom), and goals for a defender with 15. Again: He led a team with Alex Ovechkin, Backstrom, and Evgeny Kuznetsov in points. Early in the season, the hashtag #Johnny4Norris filled social media every time he put up another three point night.

So, he didn’t win the Norris, but Caps fans should be thrilled that in his 11th season, he set career highs. At $8 million a year, he needs to be putting up those numbers (and playing good defense). By the way, in Mike Green’s 11th season, he played for Detroit.

Congratulations to Carlson for a great season. And not all was lost for him. He was named to the NHL’s First All-Star Team for the first time in his career. So there’s that.