Apr 3, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Boston Bruins goaltender Chad Johnson (30) comes out for the warm up against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Boston Bruins Postseason: Keeping Chad Johnson.


Chad Johnson was probably one of the better surprises for the Boston Bruins this year. The Black and Gold chose not to keep back-up goaltender Anton Khudobin after the 2013 Stanley Cup Final, and needed a second goalie to play behind Tuukka Rask. At the time, they didn’t feel that Providence goaltenders were ready for the NHL.

Johnson was a fifth round draft pick back in 2006 for the Pittsburgh Penguins. Like Khudobin, Johnson had only played in a handful of NHL games before getting promoted by the Bruins. Ten in total, six for the New York Rangers, and four for the Phoenix Coyotes.  Also like Khudobin, there was a some grumbling in the Bruins’ fan base over promoting another ‘part-time keeper’ in Boston.

Chad Johnson certainly got a workout this season wearing the Black and Gold. He ended up between the pipes in Boston more times than most fans predicted. In all, he played in twenty seven games. His final record was 17-4-3 (two shutouts). His goals against average (2.10), and his save percentage (.925) were in the top ten in the league. He was stable, reliable, and earned a following amongst the Boston fan base.

With the Bruins unexpected and heartbreaking departure from the postseason, the organization now has to take a look at the roster and make tweaks where they think its necessary to improve the squad for next season. While Jarome Iginla is the name people talk about re-signing, Chad Johnson will also be hitting the free agency market. Chad Johnson’s numbers are good enough that another organization could go and snap up the Bruins number two goaltender. Anton Khudobin was snapped up by the Carolina Hurricanes last July where he found himself as their team’s number one goaltender.

Certainly there are factors in whether or not Boston chooses to retain Johnson. Naturally, the Bruins will need to decide if Niklas Svedberg or Malcolm Subban are ready to switch out the ‘P’ on their jerseys for a ‘B’. Personally, I don’t believe Subban is ready, and I don’t know if Svedberg could be the number two in Boston right now either. It would be a shame for the Bruins to miss out again on signing a player that has exceeded our expectations and performed well at the NHL level. Hopefully, we’ll be able to retain his services for another year to provide dependable strength in the crease for the Bruins.

Tags: Boston Bruins National Hockey League

  • Nostre Dummass

    This Bruins season PROVED that the B’s goaltenders are indeed sheltered by their defence-first system. Carey Price standing on his head gave B’s fans ANOTHER look at what a “Vezina” goaltender can bring to a team (in case they’ve forgotten Timmy Thomas…I haven’t)
    Rask is a great positional goalie. Fine. But frankly I’m sick and tired of the Bruins being “out-goalied” and losing to an inferior Habs team.
    A Bruins team that plays a layered defensive style…keeps shots to the outside and lets the goalie see every shot….all we need is a solid guy back there…right? The problem comes when this system encounters a team that occasionally finds a way past that defence…screens a shot or two..manages to create an odd-man rush. Positional goaltending is suddenly less than useless.
    OK that explains Rask’s HIDEOUS record against the Habs.
    But what’s EVEN MORE DAMNING is a nobody like Chad Wraparound Johnson (aka NOT the discredited receiver looking to restart his career in the CFL) manages to put up (almost) equal numbers to Rask’s “great season”.
    So either Rask and Chad Johnson are BOTH GREAT goaltenders…or the Bruins system really does shelter the goalie and a trained monkey could put up decent stats.
    I’m not saying Rask isn’t a good goalie…even a Very GOOD one.
    I can just count on one hand the games he’s STOLEN for this team.
    And that’s damning because I doubt the whole Bruins roster wouldn’t have enough digits to count the same for goaltenders like Tim Thomas, Ken Dryden, Patrick Roy, Dominik Hasek, Glenn Hall…..Carey Price.
    What the Bruins NEED isn’t a goalie that fits their defensive structure.
    I think…with a little reflection…Chia and co will realize what HUBRIS there is in imagining that could never happen. After all…the playoffs are about playing increasingly better teams until you prove your team is the BEST.
    That is NEVER going to happen again for my Bruins until they have the BEST goaltender.
    RASK is NOT.
    Neither is Chad Johnson
    Malcolm Subban?

    • Bratista

      I miss Thomas. He was sensational as a goaltender! Rask is OK, but he lets in too many weak shots. That said, there was a lot of defensive breakdown against the Habs too, but the 2011 cup team wasn’t the strongest on offense or defense. It was our GOALIE who ensured we won the cup! Without Thoams, we’d still be in a dryspell. I hope next season is better.

    • Matt

      THANK YOU!!! Except i been preaching Rask sucks all season. Haha. He doesn’t actually suck but he is NOT a CHampionship goaltender. He can’t bail the team out and win them a game(has he ever?) Breakaways = automatic goals against him. And you pointed out what other delusional fans fail to realize. THE BRUINS DEFENSIVE SYSTEM. They could put any goalie back there ( your trained monkey even) and id bet their numbers would get better. JOhnson isn’t that great either, he played against the scrub teams. But i still think he gives you just as good a shot at winning as Rask.
      -WHat pisses me off the most is Rask loses a Cup after a SHORTENED SEASON and gets a contract making him 2nd highest paid goalie. NOrmally idc about money, but they coulda used that towards someone who actually deserves it.
      -They should get rid of Johnson as theres no future there and bring up Svedberg/Subban and start grooming them.