It wouldn't be a preseason if someone didn't get hurt, right? Looks like the Pens may be without Brent Johnson for a while after he injured his knee after a collision in the crease last night with Toronto's Tyler Bozak. GhostWalker40, as always, has some quality highlights available in the fanposts. You can see Johnson's injury around the 3:20 mark.
What does this mean for Johnson, a guy who's had a good share of injuries over the past few years? More importantly, what does this mean for the Pens' backup man and will it be John Curry? Take the jump to help dissect this one.
Johnson played the remainder of the second but did not start the third. He also failed to join teammates on the bench, something that would often draw concern. However coach Dan Bylsma had this to say:
"We will see (about Johnson's status). It was more precautionary than anything."
That's promising at least, but Johnson's recent bout with injuries leaves some room for speculation. Here's a brief rundown of Johnson's injuries since 2005:
|May 13, 2009||Missed 30 regular season and 14 playoff games (hip surgery).|
|February 3, 2009||Hip surgery, sidelined indefinitely.|
|January 27, 2009||Missed 2 games (undisclosed).|
|January 19, 2009||Undisclosed, day-to-day.|
|January 1, 2009||Missed 3 games (illness).|
|December 26, 2008||Illness, day-to-day.|
|January 12, 2008||Recalled from Hershey (AHL).|
|January 10, 2008||Missed 5 games (knee injury) and assigned to Hershey (AHL).|
|December 29, 2007||Knee injury, sidelined indefinitely.|
|February 8, 2007||Missed 4 games (undisclosed).|
|February 1, 2007||Undisclosed, day-to-day.|
|January 12, 2007||Re-signed by the Washington Capitals to a two-year contract.|
|July 1, 2006||Re-signed by the Washington Capitals.|
|January 4, 2006||Missed 2 games (groin).|
|December 31, 2005||Groin, day-to-day.|
Goalies put a lot of wear and tear on there bodies, so the occasional lower-body injury (groin, knee ham string, etc) is expected. However after returning from 08/09's season-ending hip surgery, this is likely the last thing Johnson needed to have interfering with his play.
Do the Pens turn to John Curry, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton goaltender who has more or less worked his way through the rankings at a healthy pace? It would seem like the logical move, yes? After all, it's not like the Pens really have the money to go shopping with. Promoting from within may be the only solution, but one that should not be looked down upon. For all he's shown in the preseason, Curry has the ability to stop big shots when needed. He got hung out to dry a bit against Montreal on Monday, but that was more a poor defensive effort than it was Curry's goaltending. These things happen in preseason play so they don't happen in the regular season.
I'd like to add that this is all based on sheer speculation. There's been nothing to confirm whether or not Johnson will return within the week, month or what have you. However, given the circumstances, I'm sure we're not the only ones considering options here.