The hockey world has many sayings.
Over the last few years, one of the more popular ones is ‘You have to learn how to lose before you can learn how to win.’ It was applied to the Penguins – who lost to Detroit in the Cup finals and then came back the following year to win it all. It’s also been used when talking about the Blackhawks run to the Cup this past June. Many people are even predicting the Canucks to win the Cup this year, with part of the thinking being they now know how to lose.
This probably isn’t one one of those cases. Nonetheless, Jack Johnson bounced back from being a bridesmaid last year, to this year’s Eddie Joyal Award winner.
Named after an early star with the Kings (who actually picked up two assists in the team’s very first pre-season game on September 18, 1967), the award honors the Kings player scoring the most points during preseason.
Last year, Anze Kopitar beat out Johnson and Wayne Simmonds for the honor.
Entering play last night, Johnson and Kopitar were tied for the lead. So with Kopitar sitting out the game in Anaheim, it was essentially Jack’s to lose. However, a four point night by Michal Handzus or Justin Williams could have made things much more interesting. Neither happened.
Johnson picked up an assist in the game, thus breaking the tie with Kopitar. With the helper, he finished the preseason with seven points (2 goals, 5 assists). Worth noting is the fact that Jack had the exact same totals in last year’s exhibition play…however that was over six games, versus just four this year.
He’s now a winner.
Congratulations to Jack Johnson – the 2010 Eddie Joyal Award winner.