Chad Johnson has been the suitable backup that Boston Bruins fans had hoped for. Tuukka Rask has been superb this year with a 12-5-2 record, 1.62 goals against average and a .945 save percentage. Bruins fans know how important Rask is to their team and its chances of winning the Stanley Cup. When the Bruins started the season there were questions surrounding their backup goalie, but the team decided to go with Johnson. The move was suspect at first, but looking back on it the Bruins must have known exactly what they were doing. Johnson has played in four games this season with a goals against average of 2.21 compiling a record of 3-1.
I have been Johnson’s biggest critic. It hasn’t been his numbers that I have been suspect of. It’s the fact that the Bruins have used him so sparingly. The Bruins have played 23 games, and they have allowed Rask to start 19 of them. The fear of overworking Rask may be the biggest fear the Bruins have before the postseason. If Johnson was supposed to be an NHL caliber goalie why was he not capable of playing in more than four games? I would have expected to see him in the back end of back-to-back games and against some of the western conference teams. Points are essential when playing divisional rivals so I understand keeping him on the bench for these games. Rask has deserved a few more games off than he has gotten, however.
Johnson has proved through the four games that he can hang in the NHL, and it will be interesting to see if he gets more time going forward. I don’t really see the downside at this point in the season. I think he has earned the playing time the same way that Rask has earned some time off.