Saturday, May 7, 2011

2010-11 Season Review: Jack Johnson

Jack Johnson & Mattias Ritola
Jack Johnson
2010-11 Stats: 82 GP, 5 G, 37 A, 42 PTS, -21, 28 PPP, 44 PIM 
Signed through 2017-18; $4.35 million

On the surface, Jack Johnson had himself a career year.  He appeared in all 82 games for the first time.  His 42 points were a career-high.  His 28 points on the man-advantage put him in the top-5 among blueliners.  But just a little bit of digging and you realize that Jack Johnson was absolutely brutal this year.  Fans calling Drew Doughty the biggest disappointment of the season are letting JJ off the hook way too easy.  JJ recorded a career low and team worst +/- rating of -21 following seasons of: -19, -18, -15.  Among Kings blueliners Rob Scuderi had the next worst +/- rating +1.  Only SIX NHL defenseman out of the 303 that qualified had a worse +/- and three of those defenseman were from the Ottawa Senators.

Now, for those fans that don't believe in the +/- statistic; let's take a look at JJ's CORSI # of -2.39 and a REL CORSI # of -8.7.  CORSI is a fairly simple formula: On-Ice Shot Differential (goals + saves + missed shots + blocks).  The idea is simple: more shots attempted on the opposition's net equals greater offensive output.  The most disturbing stat here are JJ's shot and missed shot totals.  He recorded a career-high 153 shots but also missed the net a career-high 105 times (3rd most in the NHL among defenseman) for a total of 258 shot attempts at the net.  Simple division tells us that JJ hit the net only 59% of the time.  During the previous three seasons JJ recorded percentages of: 61% (212 shot attempts), 75% (67 shot attempts), 72% (113 shot attempts).  Alec Martinez led all Kings blueliners getting the puck thru 66% of the time on his shot attempts.

To put these numbers into a bit of perspective, only Dustin Byfuglien and Shea Weber missed the net more among defensemen.  Byfuglien missed the net 144 times but led all defensemen with 347 shots for 71%.  Shea Weber missed the net 120 times but hit the net with 254 shots (3rd) for 68%.  Byfuglien scored 20 goals.  Weber scored 16 goals.  Johnson scored 5.

At first glance, JJ's defensive counting stats lead us to believe that he's improved his positioning in the defensive zone.  His hits dropped from 144 to 84 but his blocked shots rose from 86 to 133.  But his end-to-end offense affected his giveaway totals which also rose from 42 to 59.  Johnson's 2010-11 stats look very similar to his first full season in L.A: 84 hits, 136 blocked shots, 62 giveaways.  Which has me asking the question: Is Jack Johnson is the same player defensively that he was four years ago?

FINAL GRADE: C; Don't let the career-high point total fool you.  His -21 rating in addition to his disappearing act in the second half of the season made for a disappointing 2010-11 season.  His 33 points (4G, 29A, -6, 21 power play points) in the first 50 games prior to the All-Star break were great.  He emerged as the only consistent threat on the man-advantage but his 9 points (1G, 8A, -15, 7 power play points) in the final 32 games down the stretch were pitiful.  Why hasn't anyone started questioning his conditioning yet?

At 24, Johnson is still young.  But with each season that passes, Kings fans still wonder when JMFJ is going to show up.  Where's the high-octane player that dominates both sides of the puck?  Will he ever live up to the hype?  Johnson signed a massive seven-year contract early in the season that will take him into the 2017-18 season at a cap hit of $4.35 million.  With blueline prospects like Muzzin, Voynov, and Hickey all considered offensive defensemen; JJ will need to improve all aspects of his game because with each ill-timed pinch in the offensive zone, JJ's name and 'cap-friendly' $4.35M are inching closer and closer to the rumor mill.


  1. You described JJ to a tee. I might also go as far as saying that the King's PP did suffer, along with the other players on the PP because of JJ's selfish or blind play on the PP. It is obvious he does not see the ice. It is unfair to give accolades to JJ's play on the PP when his shooting percentage is down and everyone else ends up with poor PP stats.

  2. Thanks for reading! Really appreciate the comment. I think Kings fans expectations of JJ are were so high that it would be impossible for him to ever reach them.

    I think everything that Martinez showed this season is what JJ lacks. You can tell that two years in the AHL did alot for Alec's development.
    Did DL ruin JJ's development by not having him play at least a season in the AHL? Maybe?