Statistically, there was a dramatic difference. In those games, he collectively totaled seven assists and was a minus-1. His output in the remaining 76 games of the year was 30 assists. Thus, he was nearly three times his season average during that small stretch.
A few weeks ago in training camp, coach Terry Murray said he wanted to see Johnson have a more consistent ‘attitude of going after guys, pinning and sealing, and really being nasty one-on-one’ this year.
Saturday night in Philadelphia, it may have all come together for Johnson – culminating in what some are calling his best game ever for the Kings.
Today, Murray spoke about how impressed he was with Johnson’s play vs. the Flyers…
“I thought he was a real horse of a man in Philadelphia. He played tremendous. He got stronger and played with more authority on the puck. He really tried to take the game over every time he was on the ice. That was outstanding on his part, from my view of it. I just want to keep building on that and pushing that attitude. It’s the way it is. When you lose a player, somebody does need to step up and take more on. And he assumed that responsibility. It was great to see.”
Just imagine how deadly the Kings would be if Johnson and Doughty were both playing at an elite level most nights.