Johnson calls Fleury one of the league’s best
We have learned
that head coach Dan Bylsma will go back to Marc Andre Fleury Friday night against the Philadelphia Flyers as the Penguins short-term goaltender controversy has been a media frenzy of late.
Who would have thought Fleury starting back-to-back to games would be such a hot story in October but it will be one tomorrow due to Fleury’s struggles since last spring and Johnson’s stellar play in goal this season.
Many are calling for Johnson to go back into net against Philadelphia as the 33 year old goaltender is the hot hand and is having an All-Star season, posting a 4-0-1 record with a 1.39 GAA and .951 save percentage.
I had a chance to talk with Johnson one-on-one today and he credited the Penguins “team defense” in front of him for helping him play at the level he is.
“They’ve played spectacular to this point, ” Johnson said of the Penguins team defense. “Everyone here expects nothing less, and were getting 100% effort from everyone every night and we can be happy with that so far and hope it continues.”
During Johnson’s four game winning streak, a streak that included three straight starts, Johnson played in front of a makeshift defensive unit that was missing two prominent defenders in Brooks Orpik and Zbynek Michalek.
One league observer told me this week, the Penguins have a great situation as few teams have the kind of confidence in a backup that the players have in Johnson.
“I think they know I go out there every practice and try to make them better shooters and try my hardest and when I get in there, they know I give them a chance to win, ” Johnson said.
Always a great teammate, Johnson was later pressed today by the media about Marc Andre Fleury and whether Fleury can turn it around.
“I have zero doubt, zero doubt at all. Are you kidding me?, ” Johnson said when asked if he has any “doubts” about Fleury.
“One of the best goaltenders in the world, ” Johnson said. “Sometimes the puck finds cracks, finds little hole here and there, and it happens to every goaltender. But, i have no doubt in my mind… he’s one of the best goaltenders in the NHL.”