January was a month to forget for Johnson, as he posted a minus-8 rating and collected just three assists. The 30-year-old defenseman still boasts a plus-14 rating, but his offensive numbers (two goals and 15 points) and peripheral contributions (61 shots, 26 PIM, 61 hits and 88 blocked shots) hardly move the fantasy needle. Don't fret leaving Johnson on the waiver wire in seasonal leagues or fading him in daily contests. Friday's two-point showing was more of a blip on the radar than a sign of things to come.
Long one of the biggest plus/minus sinks in the NHL -- in 10 previous seasons, Johnson had never recorded a positive rating, with his minus-7 in 2011-12 being his best effort over a full schedule -- he's completely transformed his game this season, and he (plus-20) and his blue line partner David Savard (plus-23) both now sit in the top 10 in the league in that category. He only has one goal and nine points in 34 games, limiting his fantasy appeal, but with the
Johnson picked up a goal and an assist in the 6-2 victory over the Islanders on Saturday.
The score was Johnson's first of the season. He had six last season in just 60 games, so it was nice to finally see the 29-year-old break his goalless streak. Columbus is on a six-game winning streak, and during that stretch, Johnson has a goal and four points with a plus-4 rating. He now has seven points this season.
Johnson collected a first-period assist and registered two shots on net, three blocked shots and two hits over 23:26 of ice time during Wednesday's win over the Ducks.
The ice time was a team high for Columbus, and Johnson might continue to see an increased role with Seth Jones (foot) out of the lineup. Given his cross-category potential and modest offensive upside, Johnson is worth a look in deeper leagues. He is also a low-priced consideration in daily contests when Columbus lands in a favorable matchup.
He's still looking for his first point of the season, but Johnson's scoring drought is due in large part to a lack of power-play time. He didn't get a single shift with the man advantage Tuesday, and that's not likely to change much down the road with rookie Zach Werenski playing so well. On the bright side, Johnson has gone plus-1 instead of residing in the negatives as he usually does; still, the 29-year-old is no longer a consistent offensive contributor, so there's not much fantasy relevance to be found here anymore.