Tag Archives: Johnson

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO CRUSH A MONARCHY?

Connecticut-Whale_thumb_thumb_thumb_      VERSUS      Manchester

The Connecticut Whale struck three times in a span of just 1:31 in the second period and then rode solid goaltending by Chad Johnson to win their fifth straight game 4-1 at the Verizon Wireless Center in Manchester over the Monarchs Saturday night.

In the second period, newcomer Casey Wellman and Jonathan Audy- Marchessault  set each other up for goals just nine seconds apart at 12:01 and 12:10 respectively and Kris Newbury scored on the power play 1:22 later to break the game open for the visiting Whale. The two goals by Wellman and Audy-Marchessault were just one second off the team record that came against the former Albany River Rats on January 5, 2002. Both goals in the record eight seconds came off the stick of then Hartford Wolf Pack centerman Benoit Dusablon.

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IS THIS ROCK BOTTOM?

Connecticut-Whale_thumb_thumb_thumb      VERSUS      Norfolk

Throughout the 2011-2012 season the Whale have had two glaring problems: allowing quick back-to-back goals and not holding third period leads. Both of those Achilles Heel issues haunted the Whale Saturday night as they dropped a 5-4 decision, their ninth straight in a ten round shootout to the visiting Norfolk Admirals in front of a lively crowd of 5,557 on Wade Redden Bobblehead night at the XL Center.

Scott Tanski had a very strong game for the Whale with his first multi-goal game punching two into the Norfolk net while Kelsey Tessier added two assists.

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ZUCCARELLO: NOW YOU SEE HIM – MAYBE NOW YOU DON’T?

Connecticut Whale     VERSUS     Norfolk

The Connecticut Whale travelled down to The Scope in Norfolk, Virginia to start a pair of games with the Admirals. Head Coach Ken Gernander started the trip on an up-note as he was able to pencil in All-Star forward Mats Zuccarello for the first time in thirteen games. But, by the time the game was over, it wasn’t a lackluster Whale performance in a 3-1 loss for the Whale that was their biggest concern, it was the condition of Zuccarello’s health.

Zuccarello returned to the Whale lineup after suffering a high-ankle sprain against the Hershey Bears at the XL Center on December 9th. In this contest Friday, during the last minute of regulation, the versatile Whale forward, who has played all three upfront positions this season, found himself in a scrum of players fighting for control of the puck along the left wing half-boards in the offensive zone. While reaching for the puck Zuccarello fell backwards awkwardly. “The Norwegian Hobbit” struggled to get to his feet and back to the Whale bench. Once he got there, he immediately went right to the locker room with trainer Damien Hess. Zuccarello was in pain and noticeably limping.

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A COSTLY POINT

Connecticut-Whale_thumb_thumb_thumb1[2]      VERSUS      Providence

Yes, the Connecticut Whale gathered a point in Saturday night’s contest at the XL Center against the Providence Bruins in a 2-1 shootout loss and yes, while Head Coach Ken Gernander wasn’t doing back-flips in his post game press conference (see below) it was more about a point given away as opposed to the two points earned.

“We had our chances, hit a couple posts, and worked pretty hard,” Gernander said. “I don’t think we had the advantage as far as power-play opportunities versus penalty kill, but the Bruins work hard and bottle things up in the neutral zone. That being said, you have to get puck behind them, and we didn’t win the foot races or create the turnovers to get possession. But I thought we played pretty hard, hit the posts and had the penalty shot.” Pretty much sums it up.

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BRUCE BERLET REPORTS – JOHNSON IN A NEW YORK STATE OF MIND

BY: Bruce Berlet

Connecticut Whale coach Ken Gernander offered goalie Chad Johnson a bit of a challenge before the franchise began its 15th season last weekend.

After a solid rookie pro season in 2009-10, Johnson was less successful last season, compiling a 16-19-3 record with a 2.72 goals-against average, .901 save percentage and two shutouts in 40 games before being called up by the New York Rangers on Feb. 28 after Martin Biron sustained a season-ending broken collarbone when hit by a shot in practice. Johnson got plenty of work with Rangers goaltending coach Benoit Allaire and against NHL talent for two months, but he played only 20 minutes while backing up All-Star Henrik Lundqvist.

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WHALE GUTS…

Connecticut Whale      VERSUS       Wilkes Barre

After watching the Connecticut Whale work through 65 minutes of scoreless, defensive hockey and then score three times out of four in the shoot-out for a 1-0 victory over the Wilkes-Barre-Scranton Penguins Sunday night, the only way to describe it, especially this early in the hockey season is to notice that this group of young men have “guts.”

In fact after watching the contest before 4,133 at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza what came to mind was the film “Airplane II” and the late great Lloyd Bridges character, Steve McCroskey. To paraphrase his line in the film, he says drunkenly, “Gentlemen, I don’t find it easy to talk at a time like this, but I got to say something about (Those guys out) there, and I can sum it all up in just one word: courage…dedication, daring, pride, pluck, spirit, grit, mettle, and G-U-T-S, *guts*. Why, (The Connecticut Whale bench’s) got more guts in (their collective) little finger(s) than most of us have in our large intestine, including the colon.”

All joking aside, it was that kind of a game. Chad Johnson made his first start of the 2011-2012 season with one of his best performances in quite a long time with a masterpiece from start-to-finish. Not only did he keep the puck out of the Whale net, he was dominant in stopping three-of-five Penguin shooters which allowed his teammates the ability to focus on their jobs and they came through with three of four scoring goals in the skills competition giving the Rangers’ top affiliate got their first win of the season. Continue reading

BRUCE BERLET REPORTS – CHAD JOHNSON, A GOALIE LOOKING TO REBOUND

FROM THE CREASE with BRUCE BERLET

Chad Johnson, A Goalie Looking to Rebound

Chad Johnson experienced about the ultimate in good news-bad news last season.

The good? The New York Rangers called up the goalie from the Connecticut Whale on Feb. 28 after backup Martin Biron sustained a broken collarbone when hit by a shot in practice.

The bad? Johnson played only 20 minutes in two months while caddying for Henrik Lundqvist.

And things didn’t start all that well this season when the first shot of warm-ups in the Rangers’ first scrimmage went off Johnson’s facemask, requiring him to go to the bench for repairs.

But Johnson, who struggled much of the season before being summoned by the Rangers, insists spending weeks with the Rangers and goaltending coach Benoit Allaire far outweighed having virtually no playing time.

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