John Carlson of the Washington Capitals has had an unbelievable start to the 2019-20 National Hockey League season. On Tuesday, the native of Natick, MA became only the fourth NHL defenseman ever to record 20 points in the month of October.
Carlson accomplished the feat in a 5-3 Capitals win over the Calgary Flames. In the two goal Washington win, Carlson scored two goals. His first goal came at the 35 second mark of the second period from T.J. Oshie of Mount Vernon, WA and captain Alexander Ovechkin to put the Capitals up 1-0. Carlson’s second goal came with 1:45 left in the third period. It was unassisted and put the Capitals up 5-2 at the time.
After 11 games to start the 2019-20 season, Carlson leads the NHL in assists with 15 and points with 20. Carlson’s 15 assists are three more this season than Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers, who is second with 12 assists. Carlson’s 20 points are three more than McDavid and David Pastrnak of the Boston Bruins, who are second on the list with 17.
The other three blueliners who have notched 20 points in October are Paul Coffey, Al MacInnis and Brian Leetch. Coffey achieved the mark twice. The first time came with the Oilers in 1981 and the second time with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1988. MacInnis reached the 20 point plateau with the Flames in 1988 and Leetch was the last player to accomplish the milestone as he notched 20 points in October with the New York Rangers in 1990. Like Carlson, Leetch was American as he was born in Corpus Christi, TX.
So far in 2019-20, Carlson is also a +8 with six penalty minutes, six power play points, two game winning goals, 23 shots on goals, 21 blocked shots, six hits, four takeaways and 14 giveaways. Ovechkin believes Carlson should be considered for the Norris Trophy. At this rate, he will be considered not only for the Norris, but Hart Trophy as well. If Carlson leads all players in points at the end of the season, he will also win the Art Ross.
Carlson will try to continue his offensive prowess Thursday night when the Capitals play the Oilers. Washington is currently in first place in the Metropolitan Division with 16 points.