Calgary Flames: What’s Going On With Chad Johnson?

Calgary Flames new goaltender, Chad Johnson, has been a bit of a story this season. But lately, he’s started to fall a bit. What’s going on with Johnson lately?

The goalie situation with the Calgary Flames has been all over the place. Basically since Miikka Kiprusoff retired in 2013. So in the off-season when the Flames traded for Brian Elliott, fans were ecstatic. He has been one of the best goaltenders in the NHL for the last six years.

But when the NHL season started and Elliott wasn’t all that he was hyped up to be, the Flames had to turn to the backup. And that backup was named Chad Johnson. Johnson has never started more than half the games in a season, but he played his first full season last season with 45 games with the Buffalo Sabres. He was the reliever five times.

Johnson has always been a backup his entire NHL career. And this looked to be the same this season since the Flames acquired Elliott. But when the Flames needed to turn to Johnson, he was there and is a big factor in why the Flames turned their season around.

Nov 25, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Calgary Flames goalie Chad Johnson (31) defenseman Mark Giordano (5) and defenseman Deryk Engelland (29) celebrate after defeating the Boston Bruins at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Hometown Hero

Chad Johnson is actually from Calgary. Well, he’s from Saskatoon, but he grew up in Calgary. And thus, was a Calgary Flames fan growing up. So when he got the chance to play for the team he grew up cheering for, it was like a dream come true.

And he definitely stepped up when nobody really expected him to and when the Flames needed him most.

In October, he wasn’t exactly the best yet. He had only played three games and had one win. That came against his old team, the Buffalo Sabres.

And then November came and he still wasn’t the best to start off that month. But then, November 15th aka the day Johnny Gaudreau got injured came, and all of a sudden, things completely took off from there. He got his first shutout as a Flame on that day, winning 1-0 against the Minnesota Wild. Then he got two more shutouts in the next seven games. Getting three shutouts even in a month is an incredible feat. And Johnson did it in two weeks. From November 15th to November 30th, Johnson went 6-2-0. Of goaltenders who played at least three games in that time period, he had the best sv% (0.951), the best GAA (1.50), had the most amount of shutouts (3) and played the most amount of minutes too and still managed to keep up those stats.

Then December came and he managed to win his first five games and was leading the Flames with a six-game win streak. But then the Flames played the Tampa Bay Lightning, and things have fallen completely apart since then.

What Happened Chad?

The Calgary Flames played the Tampa Bay Lightning on December 14th where they lost 6-3. Johnson let in four goals on 21 shots and was relieved by Brian Elliott to start the third period.

Then they played the Columbus Blue Jackets two days later. And while the Flames may have not played one of their best games, Chad Johnson wasn’t quite there to back them up like he has been all season. He let in four goals on 29 shots.

Long story short, but he hasn’t won a game in three weeks. He’s also 0-4-0 since that loss to Tampa. And since that loss, he has a save percentage of 0.862% and a GAA of 4.12. Now, Elliott has started to perform a little better. And he’s won his last three games. So as of now, Flames management will be putting Elliott between the pipes because he’s earned it. Much like they did with Chad when Elliott was under-performing.

I don’t know what’s happened to him. Of course, he’s not completely to blame. When the team in front of you isn’t completely backing you up, it’s hard to back them up. However, he has been there before when the team wasn’t backing him up. So not exactly sure what’s going on here.

What I do know is that Johnson really needs to get his game up in the New Year if this team has a shot at playoffs. And if he wants to be that hometown hero he’s always dreamed of being, it needs to happen soon.

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