After today’s morning skate, Jack Johnson talked about his experience of winning a silver medal with the United States in the Olympics…
Question: Was it easy for you to get out of Vancouver and to Dallas?
JOHNSON: “Drew and I were on the same flight, with a few other players, to come directly here. It was probably the most fun I’ve ever had playing hockey, that experience. Even though it was a tough loss in the end, looking back on it I have to smile. It was a great time. I had the privilege of playing with some awesome guys, some awesome players, and it was worth every minute.”
Question: What’s it going to be like to flip the switch and get back to NHL games. Is there fatigue?
JOHNSON: “It was more emotionally exhausting than anything. We put a tremendous amount of effort, emotionally and physically, into those games. It was a devastating loss, the last one, for us. We wanted it so bad, but whether it’s tough or not, we don’t have a choice. We have a job to do and I’ll be ready to go at 7:30 tonight.”
Question: There was so much buzz around the gold-medal game. Do you get a sense of that, and what it might mean for hockey?
JOHNSON: “I think it had to be great for hockey, not only in the United States but worldwide. From everything I’ve heard, it was the most watched hockey game in history. Even though we lost, I can honestly say it was a spectacular hockey game. I think anyone would say that. It was a great hockey game for the players, a great hockey game for the fans. I hope I get another shot at it some day.”
Question: You got to experience everything, from the opening ceremony to a gold-medal game to the closing ceremony. Was it everything you hoped it would be?
JOHNSON: “Yeah, it was. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I wanted to take advantage of every minute of it. It was worth every second of it. I hope I get to play in the Olympics again. It was, like I said, the most fun I’ve ever had playing hockey.”
Question: Did you get to experience any of the other events?
JOHNSON: “We didn’t get a lot of time, because on our off days, we practiced. When you had a moment to spare, you either spent it with your family or preparing for the next game. We got to go to the women’s gold-medal hockey game, both the U.S. and Canada men’s teams were there. I got to know a lot of the other athletes. I didn’t go out to see a lot of events, as much as I would have liked to, but I got to know a lot of them. That was really special to me.”