The Invincible M.A.E. (harleymae) wrote,
The Invincible M.A.E.

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Better to be lucky than good

Joe Thornton's mommy and daddy surprised him in New Jersey for his 1000th game! He didn't know that they were going to be there. *sniffle* I talked to his parents in Pittsburgh a few years ago and they're the nicest people.

JMFJ is having a really good start to the season! Perhaps helped by Donuts' injury. I don't think he's playing that much better or anything; as he said, it's better to be lucky than good. I'm very pleased on his behalf though. Three goals already, two of them in overtime and another the only goal in a 1-0 win with under 5 minutes in the game (so almost OT). So that's three GWGs and he'd never even had one before this season!

Check out this tasteless graphic from the Kings/Flyers game:

One of the keys to the game is "Remove all Doughty" (har har) which they decided to display along with a clip of Donuts being knocked out of the game. Terrible!

The Western Digital 2TB hard drive I use for my PC DVR is failing already, even though I bought it earlier this year. :( The good news is that Alex is upgrading our home backup server so I'm getting the old drives from that: 4 1TB Seagate SATA drives. Apparently Western Digital and Hitachi hard drives are unreliable so I'll be staying away from those for a while.

I love the NFL Red Zone channel. Basically I have someone channel surfing all the football games for me and picking out the highlights, hehe.

After months and months of being on Twitter, I am suddenly really fucking sick of people asking famous people to RT some message. I don't mind if they ask for a reply, because I don't have to read that shit, but the RT shows up in my feed. I don't give a shit that it's your birthday, insignificant person!

Archiving some JMFJ articles:

Monday, September 19, 2011
Johnson not worried about much, including his plus-minus

Kings defenseman Jack Johnson has few worries away from the rink, especially after signing a seven-year, $30.5-million contract extension back in January.

So, he was free to spend his summer on things other than stressing about a the trials and tribulations that can come with negotiating a new deal with his employer.

Instead, one of the many areas he found himself involved in was investing in a gym business back home in Michigan.

"I did it just because I get a key to the gym," joked Johnson. "I like to spend my time there. I have fun hanging out there and have a great relationship with all the trainers. They're almost like family like now. Plus, my little brother gets to train there for free."

The former first round draft pick says that as camp continues the focus is on cleaning up his game before the season begins in a few weeks.

"I'm making sure my puck handling gets back up to speed, keeping my head up, getting out of summer hockey mode," explained Johnson.

And then there's that little thing called plus-minus that pops up from time to time. His minus-19 posted during his rookie season has pretty much held steady over the last four years - including a team worst minus-21 last year. Perhaps, more concerning, on a team known for it's strong defensive play, Johnson was the only member of LA's starting defensemen to post a minus as the season total.

Like most things, it seems to just roll off Johnson's back.

"Plus-minus? I don't lose any sleep over that. As long as the coaches keep saying that I’m playing well and they keep playing me good minutes, that’s all the reassurance I need from them. If they see anything wrong, they let me know."

To prevent people from taking those statements the wrong way, he quickly added - "I don't want to say that I really don't care. Are there minuses that are my fault? Absolutely. But sometimes, there’s nothing you can do about it. So, it’s something I don’t lose sleep over. If there’s something I can improve on, then I try to improve on it. But, I’m not worried about it."

On one hand, coach Terry Murray agrees with him...

"When I first got into coaching, I had Rod Langway in Washington," Murray began to reflect on. "He won the Norris Trophy two years in a row and there was a time there in that second year when he was a minus player during the middle of the season. We I asked him, 'Are you looking at these numbers, how is it affecting you?' He said, 'No, I'm fine. You're going to be out against the best players, you're going to get beat, you're going to have a line change or there's going to be situations when you're playing a lot of minutes and you're going to end up with a minus and you're going to end up a minus player.'"

He then added the all important BUT...

"Take it to the next step - if you have big numbers, then clearly you're going to take a look at it and address it."

That's exactly what Murray planned on doing with Johnson at the end of last season. Only, that meeting hasn't taken place yet because Johnson went off to play for Team USA at the World Championships. Thus, his official exit meeting with the Kings never happened.

Murray says he's talked with GM Dean Lombardi and the coaching staff about it and they're "definitely going to have (the meeting) as we get into the latter part of training camp."

As for some of the areas they'll be talking about, Murray shared more of his thoughts on Johnson's play last season...

"I personally feel his game has improved on the checking and defensive side of the game. The one thing I want to see him continue with this year, that I thought he backed off on around January last year, is that attitude of going after guys, pinning and sealing, and really being nasty one-on-one. I think you get into that stick-checking, softer play by him, and now players are going to take advantage of it when he's out there against the best players."

Murray continued to talk about his expectations for next season...

"There are little things I see that can be brought back into his game - because it was there. Things that can be brought back in with good focus and concentration - the close, be hard and be that nasty guy that's going to lean on people in the three-on-three and down low."

For any critics who might be quick to try and connect the dots and suggest Johnson's second-half performance had anything to do with a player backing off a bit after signing a big money deal, Murray says no way.

"Absolutely not. That has nothing to do with it. He's a player that's very proud of his game. He loves to be a player who's going to be depended on, relied on at any time. He wants to be the top guy. That's an attitude he's brought with him from way back in college. Money has nothing to do with it. He wants to be the best that he can be."

Offensively, the talented blueliner had a career high last season with 42 points - numbers Johnson says should be higher this season, as the Kings power play improves.

We'll have more at that angle as camp continues this week.

Also, no word yet if Johnson spent some of his new income on that bald eagle tattoo Matt Greene recommended for him. Guess we'll have to chase that story down too.

I love that he has the right attitude. I never worry about him or get defensive because I feel like he handles criticism and adversity well, like how I never worry about Lincecum. Also, JMFJ has a massive ego. :P

Monday, October 17, 2011
Coach Terry Murray pushing and pulling Jack Johnson

It's been said many times that Jack Johnson may have played his best hockey in the NHL during the six game stretch when Drew Doughty was out of the line-up last October.

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.


Okay, first of all the headline: "pushing and pulling" JMFJ? And them calling him a big horse of a man. *cries* Terry Murray why are you so traumatizing? I am amused/disturbed that JMFJ plays better without Donuts around. :P

Tuesday, October 18, 2011
LA Kings defenseman Jack Johnson is just trying to get lost

Who knew that Mike Richards would become so heavily linked to the Kings defensemen in the early days of his tenure with the Los Angeles Kings.

In the deal that brought him to the Western Conference, Drew Doughty's best friend (Wayne Simmonds) was included in the package traded to the Flyers.

Then, during training camp, Willie Mitchell admitted to forming a bro-mance with the 26-year old center. And more recently, Richards has connected with Jack Johnson on two game-winning goals in overtime.

Any attention thrown Johnson's way for those two goals - including teammate Kevin Westgarth tweeting that he's becoming the new Mr. Overtime - has quickly been turned back the other way.

"Well, they were set up by two plays by a great player," said Johnson after practice on Monday. "I just tried to get lost back there and move around. (On a power play) you out number them. So, someone is bound to be open. I just tried to get lost and Mike Richards made two great plays to me."

Johnson was also trying to connecting with Richards on a more personal level while the team was on the road the last few weeks.

"I just got to know him a little bit more as a person," said Johnson. "He's a very easy going guy and his personality is something I'm getting to learn a little more about. I've always known he's a patient player, sees the ice well and is an all around great player. So, hockey wise, we didn't learn too much new about him - because we already knew. On his personality though - he's a real laid back, easy going guy, easy to get along with and he likes having fun."

Johnson extended that train of thought even further when talking about the process of also getting to know Simon Gagne better...

"He's a smooth player, smart, has a great shot. He's the same way though - I feel like all the new guys we brought in are easy going, easy to get along with and they like to have fun out on the ice - which is great. With such a long season, you want to play with guys who want to have fun. So, they've been easy to get along with."

Two overtime goals in four games, sounds pretty fun right there.

After practice yesterday, coach Terry Murray spoke about what he's doing to push Johnson along and some of his expectations for the season ahead. That article is linked below, along with a few other related posts.

Why are they slashing him with Mike Richards? :(

Johnson postgame quotes (Oct. 22)
Posted by Rich Hammond on 22 October 2011, 11:00 pm

Jack Johnson’s postgame thoughts…

(on his game-winning goal…)
JOHNSON: “We had talked about it beforehand. Richards had said how he wanted to win it back. It was a set-up play that worked out. … Scuderi, if it was a clean enough (faceoff) win, he was going to slide it over to me and try to set me up for a one-timer. We had tried to set that up all game, and usually they’re scrambled plays, but fortunately that one was a clean play and a great play by everyone, really.’’

(on his third game-winning goal of the season…)
JOHNSON: “Better to be lucky than good.’’

(on staying patient despite the Stars’ shot-blocking ability…)
JOHNSON: “We kind of knew that coming in, that they were going to block a lot of shots, so you can’t get frustrated. You just have to keep firing, and hopefully fire high and hard enough so that they’re not going to want to keep blocking them. But we knew that going in, so it wasn’t a surprise and we didn’t get real frustrated with it at all, I don’t think. We stayed even-keel throughout the game, so I don’t think that was really an issue. You obviously prefer that they don’t block them, but that’s life.’’

I really do like his attitude about basically just focusing on what you can do, and sometimes you'll get rewarded and don't get frustrated if things aren't working out.

Kings saying nice things about JMFJ. :)

Ethan Moreau:
"He's a hell of a player. He's probably underrated. Playing against him I could appreciate because I was killing penalties against him and had a lot of ice time against him. So, I realized how good he was. But, he's just an immense talent and he's going to be a high-end D for a long time."

Trent Hunter:
"I think he has a lot of skill with the puck and likes to rush the puck up the ice. He can make some great plays. And we saw him get a couple overtime winners too, so he's another guy who's fun to watch."

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    A month and a half later, I have finally started posting old fic to AO3! :P Best of Seven I will add more whenever I'm not lazy, heh heh.

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  • Wine weekend!

    Just got back from a weekend in Wine Country. Ate lots of good food, tasted some wine and played Codenames and One Night Ultimate Werewolf at night.…

  • AO3 initialized!

    A month and a half later, I have finally started posting old fic to AO3! :P Best of Seven I will add more whenever I'm not lazy, heh heh.

  • Dude, where's my site?

    So apparently my fic site has been deleted. Don't really feel like hunting down free web hosting so I might start putting it on AO3. Is that pretty…