Booing certainly didn’t seem to bother Jack Johnson on Wednesday night. Johnson played his first game against Carolina, the team that drafted him No. 3 overall in 2005, and a segment of fans there still has some bad feelings, as he got some mild booing when he touched the puck. Johnson never signed with the Hurricanes and instead spent two years at the University of Michigan. Carolina traded him to the Kings and he signed shortly thereafter.
Johnson’s ice time had taken a mild dip of late, but Terry Murray had high praise for Johnson’s effort against the Hurricanes.
MURRAY: “Jack played one of his best games of the year. I told him that this morning. I thought he was outstanding in his view of the game, which is from the checking part of it. That’s a team that drafted him. I’m always nervous about that kind of situation. I’m always nervous about a player going back up to Canada and their home area and feeling, `OK, it’s my time to get on the highlight reel,’ and trying to do far too much and the game doesn’t happen that way. I was nervous about that last night with Jack, but he settled in. His whole attitude was, `I’m going to take care of this part of the ice first.’
“He did a great job in moving the puck. His neutral-zone counters were with the right attitude. It’s one play and it’s getting up there the right way, and he was heavy in his play down below the goal line. Very strong. I loved his game last night. That was his best game, in those little subtle parts of the game, that I’ve seen from him in, I can’t put a number but, several games.”