(To make up for yesterday, we give you a bonus Pensburgh wrapup....It's only for a backup goalie, though)
"Upon us all a little rain must fall." – Led Zeppelin
Season stats: 10-6-1, 2.76 GAA, .906 save % and 0 shutouts (15 starts, 23 games played)
Playoff stats: 0-0, 1.91 GAA, .857 save % (31 minutes played)
Month-by-month Pensburgh grades:
Contract status: Signed through 2011-12 season ($600,000 cap hit)...Unrestricted free agent summer 2012
Interesting stat: Johnson's 8 appearances "in relief" set a season high. He only cam into nin games in four seasons in Washington. The Pens were 1-7-0 when Johnson came on after Marc-Andre Fleury got pulled (lone win when he only had to make 4 saves on 4 shots in 31 minutes against NYR on March 4th).
The Good: Johnson is steady, reliable and consistent. He knows his role as a backup and has no problems going weeks between starts and then playing well when he gets the nod. In 15 starts, Johnson surrendered 2 or fewer goals eight times, an impressive ratio that gives his team a good chance to win.
The Penguins have had some less than ideal backup goalies lately (Dany Sabourin, anyone)? So to get a veteran with a friendly contract and who's capable enough to play well when called upon is a great and useful tool to have. Johnson provides this, so the team rewarded him with a two-year extension.
The Not-so-good: There's a reason backup goalies are not starting goalies. For Johnson, durability is always an issue and injuries always seem to follow him closely. He didn't even get out of the pre-season without suffering a knee injury (that wouldn't cost him time) and he did have the "flu" which meant the Penguins had to call up a guy with zero NHL experience in Brad Thiessen to sit the bench as Fleury's backup. In between Johnson had a couple of groin injuries that seemed to have him less than 100% around January-February.
Final verdict: Johnson is as advertised, he can start 15-20 games a year, come in and do an admirable job if Fleury bombs. There's the risk he gets hurt, since he seems to all the time, but other than that concern he does about as good of a job as a backup NHL goalie that one could hope given his salary in the salary cap world.
Question and Discussion: With Johnson inked for two more years, how many starts do you think he should get? Is it better to maybe try and keep Fleury fresh (so maybe his focus stays better) or is the work-split good as is?