Sunday, April 02, 2006

Heeeeerrrrre's Johnny

If you have been watching the Washington Capitals games as of late, you haven't seen the normal #37 of Olie Kolzig in the net. However, with his play in net, it would be pretty hard to tell Kolzig's play apart from Brent Johnson's play. Johnson must really like it in the Capitals organization, because it seems he has been playing to stay on the team after his contract expires this summer.

In his past four starts, Johnson has made 167 saves in 176 shots on net. In those games, he is 2-2 with a 2.25 GAA and .949 save percentage. Though the Caps are long out of it, if they can get Johnson re-signed; it could prove well for the team as a whole to have two quality keepers at their disposal. However, it hasn't been all great for Johnson in the past couple of seasons.

Early on, the Blues looked to Johnson to be the future of the club in between the pipes. After a 19-9-2 record in 31 games during the '00-'01 season, Johnson took over the starting duties in '01-'02. It proved to be good for the Blues as Johnson went 34-20-4 and went on to collect three shutouts in the first round of the playoffs. However, after that, it started to slide for Johnson.

After a sub-par '02-'03 campaign where he went 16-13-5, the writing was on the wall for Johnson in '03-'04. At the '03 trade deadline, the Blues were able to acquire Chris Osgood from the New York Islanders, who took over the starting gig for the Blues. Johnson made only 10 appearances for the Blues in '03-'04 before he was shipped off to the Phoenix Coyotes for Mike Sillinger. In eight games, Johnson's slide continued going 1-6-1 in his games.

After the lockout, the Canucks signed him, but has to waive him, in order to get him sent to the Manitoba Moose in the AHL. The Canucks were not so lucky, as the Caps picked up Johnson for his experience. The Caps were without a back-up goalie with any kind of experience in-between the pipes. It didn't pay off at first, but slowly and surely, Johnson is coming up as a steal for the Caps. Granted, this won't get their younger goalies any NHL PT, but I think the more experience the better for the Caps.

If Johnson will stay with the Caps is yet to be determined, but Johnson is definitely getting noticed after this little stretch. And looking at it, it couldn't happen to a better person. Through the entire mess with the Blues, Johnson has been able to work through it and get back his form and back on his winning ways.

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