Kings' Jack Johnson shows passion by joining Team USA
By Kevin Allen, USA TODAY
With Chris Chelios retired, Los Angeles Kings defenseman Jack Johnson might now deserve the title of Captain America.
Twenty-four hours after his NHL team was eliminated from the playoffs, Johnson, 24, agreed to play for the USA at the world championships for the fourth time. He was captain of the 2010 U.S. team. This is the 11th time he has represented the USA at an international tournament, starting when he was a 17-year-old at the under-18 world championships.
When it comes to international tournaments, Johnson is to the U.S. program what Ryan Smyth was to the Canadians. If Johnson is healthy, he plays.
He is passionate about playing for his country, once renting a plane so he could fly up to Vancouver to march in the opening ceremonies of the 2010 Olympics.
Johnson also likes to try to make things happen on the ice, The preliminary U.S. roster lacked scoring might, but the late additions of forward Derek Stepan (New York Rangers), plus defensemen Cam Fowler (Anaheim Ducks) and Johnson should help increase the offense's danger level. Both Fowler and Johnson aren't timid about moving the puck.
The Americans defeated Austria 3-2 in a pre-tournament exhibition with Atlanta Thrashers forward Tim Stapleton scoring the game-winner. Florida Panthers player Clay Wilson added a goal and an assist.
Rangers draft pick Chris Kreider also scored for the Americans.
The Americans fell behind 2-0 in that game. The win was important because the Americans play Austria in their tournament opening game Saturday (10:15 a.m., Versus) in Slovakia.
First of all, JMFJ showing his "passion" LOL. I really loved the photo they used with the article. I think he was feeling super sad so he didn't have his usual douchey expression. And... I make fun of him a lot but I really do admire certain things about him a lot like his patriotism and stupid sunny optimism and ability to shake off failure and his unshakeable confidence. Like, it disgusts me but it's also great at the same time, haha.
I missed most of today's Game 7s because I went out to eat Ethiopian food. Raw minced steak, guys. *pats tummy happily* I ended up doing pretty good on my Round 1 picks with 7 out of 8. The only one I missed was the Preds/Ducks one. *barfs*
The Kings exit interviews were disappointing. They talked to Lombardi and Terry Murray only, it seems like. In summary, Lombardi said, "Drew Doughty is fat. Dustin Penner is fat. He should be less fat, like Matt Greene. We might sign Drew Doughty long-term, but we're worried he's going to be fat."