Johnston still hasn't played in a game this season. This isn't a surprise, as Johnston will only play when coach Barry Trotz feels that his physical presence is needed. The Islanders are having problems lighting the lamp in the early going this season, and Trotz did mention Wednesday that lineup changes may be coming, so perhaps Johnston will get his first chance to play Friday in Carolina.
Johnston finished the regular season with a goal, three assists and a rating of plus-3 in 17 games. Johnston, who's yet to play for the team in the postseason, was only used when coach Barry Trotz thought his physical presence was needed or when injuries left the coach with little to no choice but to insert the enforcer into the lineup. Johnston will likely return to the Islanders in a similar role next season.
Johnston has been a healthy scratch for the past seven games, and he's only played 17 games this season. The Islanders are mired in a goal-scoring slump, as they have been held scoreless in back-to-back games and only have 10 goals in their last seven contests. Johnston isn't likely the answer to the Isles' offensive problems, as goal scoring is not his biggest talent, but perhaps his physicality would open up the ice for more skilled players. Still, Johnston is only likely to see the ice if a forward were to come down with an illness or an injury.
Johnston hasn't played since Jan. 12 (18 games). Johnston only sees game action if the Islanders have minor injuries to a couple of forwards or if Barry Trotz believes he needs the physical presence that Johnston provides. On the season Johnston only has three assists and 23 penalty minutes in 13 games. Those totals may not change much for the rest of the season with the Islanders battling for a playoff spot. If the team were to acquire any forwards before the trade deadline Monday, it may be at the expense of Johnston.
Johnston will be a healthy scratch for the seventh straight game Friday when the Islanders take on the Lightning, Andrew Gross of Newsday reports. This should not come as any sort of surprise to anyone as Johnston only finds a place in the lineup when coach Barry Trotz believes his physical presence is needed. Johnston has played in 13 games this season, accumulating three assists with a rating of plus-2. His next chance to play will be Saturday versus the Kings.
Last 7 Games
|3 Year Avg||21||2||3||5||2||0||0||0||0||2||24.7|