Johnson stepping up

Terry Murray called Rob Scuderi’s practice, “A pretty good day today, one of the better days in the last week. So that is very encouraging.”

It’s a fun debate as to who will come out of the lineup when Scuderi returns — for the sake of putting it on the record, my guess is Drewiske — but for those asking for confirmation as to who Murray will have sit out, there’s no way he’s going to say a name until a) he’s 100-percent certain Scuderi is returning and b) he talks to that player first. Imagine, in this scenario, being Defenseman X and knowing you’re coming out of the lineup Monday but being told, “Hey, go get `em against St. Louis!” Doesn’t quite work.

Anyway, one player who certainly isn’t coming out is Jack Johnson, who has certainly elevated his game in certain areas since Scuderi’s injury. Here’s what Murray said about Johnson, in particular, stepping up in Scuderi’s absence…

MURRAY: “Whenever you have players out of the lineup, and you’re putting points on the board, that’s the most important thing. There are guys… Jack Johnson, in his game in particular, has taken a big step in his low play especially, his dot-to-board D-zone coverage. He’s playing physical, aggressive, and that’s been going on for the last eight or nine games.

“To see that, over that period of time, has certainly been very encouraging. It’s now becoming part of his game. He’s being rewarded, because of that good play, with minutes, and there’s got to be a lot of good feel in his own mind, after the game is over, that he senses that he was a major contribution to the team win.

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