Can Crabb fight off a poor year to land in the NHL again? (Zimbio)
As the Washington Capitals’ 2013 season has come to a close, and many words have been written about the team as a whole, it’s now time to look at this club at an individual level. As such, we will be taking a look at each player who played a significant role on the club this season and what they could bring in the future. First up is winger Joey Crabb. (V.v.V.)
Season Summary: Crabb, like Jeff Schultz, played pretty much nightly up until the middle of March, after which he did not play another game. Seeing almost exclusively fourth line minutes, the former Toronto Maple Leaf scored two goals in his 26 games while posting a -11.35 corsi and -11.2 corsi rel, both of which were the worst on the club among forwards. Crabb played physical hockey but really only saw his ice time early in games and was seldom used outside of regular fourth-line duty, unlike fellow grinders such as Matt Hendricks and Jay Beagle. Grade: D+
Role Play: Crabb was signed to be sandpaper; a guy who could play the wing on the fourth line and seemingly coexist with Beagle and Hendricks while providing a physical presence regularly. He was able to do that to an extent, but, as previously noted, was not very versatile and was Washington’s worst forward in terms of possession, with no metric forecasting an improvement. Of course, it’s hard to argue with a benching that lasted two months, and being sent down to Hershey as a result. Grade: D+
Playoffs: Crabb did not see postseason action. Grade: N/A
Future Potential: Crabb’s contract is up, and with Aaron Volpatti signed as the team’s “sandpaper” winger, there is almost zero chance that he returns to the Capitals. Crabb was in the minor leagues for half of the season and didn’t impress anyone at either level this year. He will need to work hard to get an NHL gig next season, especially with the cap coming down and his poor performance this year. Grade: D
Harry Hawkings is a college student credentialed to cover the Capitals for RtR. Follow him on Twitter here for all your news needs this season.