December 28, 2010 2:30 pm

Johnson’s play is a big `plus’

Terry Murray had strong praise on Tuesday for all of the efforts of his defensemen in Monday’s victory over San Jose, but when asked about Jack Johnson, Murray had particularly kind words. Johnson had one assist, a plus-3 rating and was credited with a team-high five blocked shots as he played 25 minutes, 32 seconds, more than anyone in the game. Plus-minus is a statistic of questionable value, but in a relative sense, Johnson has made great strides. He is plus-9 in his last six games, bringing him to plus-1 for the season. Johnson has never finished a full season better than minus-15. He is now part of what seems to be an improving pair with Drew Doughty, and today, Murray talked about Johnson’s effort against the Sharks…

MURRAY: “Tremendous. He had some good games in the early part of the year, and then he really hit a black hole there for a while, where he was minus at the end of the day but really not involved in the play. There were a couple games when he was just stepping onto the ice, on a line change, and it was, `Minus-3, minus-3, minus-3.’ He is really playing well, though. He got it back, and he had an excellent game last night. Puck movement, his coverage, his reads, three-on-three, the switches down low, it’s all becoming instinctive. The hesitation is starting to leave his game. When you start to close fast, and the puck is arriving and you’re anticipating, you can become a great player.”

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