He finished the month of January with a 4-0-0 record including his first shutout of the season against the Edmonton Oilers Saturday afternoon.
Last week, he recorded 37 saves in a win against the New York Islanders away from TD Garden and followed it up with another win against old friend Andrew Ference.
If you guessed Tuukka Rask, you’re wrong. Chad Johnson has been the guy of late and he has not disappointed.
Johnson has improved his record to 10-3-0 on the year including a 2.14 goals against average and a .923 save percentage in the 16 games he has appeared in.
Although Johnson has been the “hotter” goalie recently, he understands his role of the backup and he will be ready whenever his number is called.
“It’s been nice, I mean I want to get in as many games as I can,” said the Bruins backup goalie. “I know my role and it’s not be in every night, but it’s to be in when I am called upon, so it’s nice to be able to get in more games and get in there and get more comfortable and just try and help the team win, so it’s nice playing more often.”
Johnson has proved even more so over the last month that if Claude Julien would like to rest Rask more over their hectic schedule in March and April, he can do so. Johnson is playing with a lot of confidence.
“I just try and be ready for any situation if it’s playing back-to-back or whatever it is,” Johnson said. “I look at the calendar a little bit ahead. I try to stay focused on just the present day and sort of tomorrow, so I had no idea that I’d be playing this much, but I think when you look at the Olympic break coming up, you know Tuukka might have a little more time off, especially after the break as well just with the whole back to backs coming up in March, so yeah I try not to look too far ahead.”
Johnson agrees that by playing more he has developed a daily routine and it has been helping before each game he plays.
“Yeah, definitely,” Johnson said. “I think you get more comfortable. I think that routine, the flow of the game, it comes a lot easier for you. The focus is always there. That experience you have with playing more and getting just that flow like I always say and it definitely helps playing closer together and within days of each game that I play.”
Although Johnson was being modest after his shutout versus the Oilers on Saturday, he agreed that it is very satisfying to hold any opposing team to a goose egg.
“It means a lot,” Johnson said after Saturday’s performance. “For me, it’s always just about the wins, but I think when you can add a shutout there it’s just kind of like a bonus point for myself. To get it at home too, it’s just nice. It’s always nice to get a shutout.”
We can’t say there is a goalie controversy in Boston, but it would be wise to roll the dice more with Johnson, who is capable of handling the pressure. But, make no mistake about it, in a must-win game Rask is between the pipes 100 percent of the time.
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