Jack Johnson’s 2008-09 season got devastated when he suffered a serious shoulder injury in the second game, an injury that cost him half the season. Upon his return, Johnson had flashes of strong play, but overall it seemed as though the Kings wouldn’t see Johnson at full capacity until this season.
That didn’t turn out to be completely accurate. After the NHL season, Johnson represented the United States in the IIHF World Championships and had a strong tournament at both ends, and that play seems to have carried over to the start of this regular season.
Johnson seems to be more aggressive, particularly in the offensive zone. In the first four games, he has jumped up into plays much more often. For a defenseman, that usually means a combination of confidence in self, confidence in partner – in Johnson’s case, the steady Rob Scuderi — and the coach’s confidence in both defenseman. Johnson has one goal and one assist in four games. I talked to him about feeling more comfortable jumping into plays…
JOHNSON: “I think it’s just about having more confidence. I’ve said it before: if you have confidence, it’s everything. You can have the tools to do it, but if you’re not confident, things just aren’t going to work as well. I’ve been paired up with Rob, and Peter (Harrold) was a great partner for me too. With Rob, I think I’ve got the green light to go. Also, it’s just knowing these guys a little bit more, being with them for a year longer, them knowing what I’m going to do and me knowing what they’re going to do. That helps, and just being a year older and more confident helps a lot.’’
Question: And also knowing when to pick your spots? When to go for it?
JOHNSON: “I think I’ve always had a pretty decent head for that. It’s just whether or not I decided to do it and had the confidence. That’s been more of the question.’’