Is there any chance that Johnson is going to start getting more ice time? I have only seen a couple of Blues games this season so most of my info is from stats and second hand info, but from what I know he's been doing very well. His points per time on ice is excellent for a defenseman. He's averaged a point for every 29 minuets and 3 seconds. Which is better than fellow rookie Tobias Enstrom, heck that's better than Lidstrom, Zubov, Gonchar, etc. I realize he's a rookie and they want to bring him a long slowly, but only averaging 16:36 of ice time a game seems pretty low to me. Heck last night he had three assists and only 3 players on the Blues had less ice time than him and they were all forwards.
Coming from a college background, I think its safer to keep Johnson's minutes down and just let him get through the first season. An 82 game season is a huge change of pace as it is so lets not risk wearing him out or getting him injured if we don't need to. For icetime he shouldn't be over 3rd or 4th on the d-corps, IMO. He'll build up his endurance but its going to take time.
EJ will be the Blues best defenseman by the middle of next year if not sooner. He's so smooth with the puck, he can make a great first pass, and he can skate. He's learning the physical side of the game quickly. Its amazing to me how much he's progressed in such a short time. Definitely picked the right number for the new sweater.
I think its funny when people say he shouldnt be there. So he didnt do that great in college? The gophers play on a a huge ice sheet where its so easy to be exposed. NHL is a completely different game where playing with better players is such a difference. One of the top guys in plus minus and leading all the d man in points. The blues have to be ecsatic.
Yeah I under stand wanting to bring him along slow and not over expose him. It just seems strange to me to give your most productive defenseman the least amount of ice time.
Despite his point totals, he's still a very young rookie, and he's getting burned with his share of mistakes. Murray is wisely trying to use him in situations where he can be successful, while gaining experience along the way.
He's going to be a heck of a player - it's just not going to happen in the next week.
I'm not so much concerned about his ice-time as I am his -6 over the last the last 7 games.
I haven't been able to watch any of the past 7 games. How has Johnson looked?
Mostly good. A few bad shifts or mistakes here and there, so not his best, but he has been far from bad. But the Blues overall have just not been up to task. Plus/minus is stupid, but I'll humor you...he's only been -1 over the past five games. It was the two games against Nashville (team was outscored 8-4 at even strength) that wrecked him. And before those two games, he was +6 in his previous 9 games, despite the whole team only outscoring opponents 23-19 at even strength. So you can see how much of his minus over the past 16 games is due to two games in which the whole team got demolished.
He played his first 20+ minute game for almost a month against Tampa Bay and he was solid. He got a lot of shifts with Brewer on the top pairing late in the game. Absolutely nothing to worry about with Erik Johnson.