Sometimes the stats don't tell the whole story. Heading into Friday's game four of the SHL semifinals, Johnson had two goals and two assists and sat way down in 38th place in playoff points. It's easy to think he's been a non-factor.
The truth is, just like in the regular season, when he's playing at five-on-five, he lets his centre, Johan Sundström shoot the puck. It works. Frölunda has had a fairly easy ride so for, so their playoff run was at eight games played, and they were sitting at 2-1 over Luleå in the semis.
Johnson struggled more against the very physical Djurgården side, but has been offensively strong in the last five or six games.
In game four Frölunda took a 1-1 tie, courtesy of Artturi Lehkonen's goal, to overtime and lost it after a session of the Joel Lundqvist line getting hemmed in in their own end. Johnson's line was again leading in shots on goal, so they are creating the offensive pressure, it just doesn't pay off every game. That's hockey.
The series is now tied at 2 games apiece and moves to Frölunda's arena on Sunday.
No one has cruised more unopposed to what seems like a fated victory than this year's Moscow CSKA team. They have easily beaten every opponent in the West Conference, and now, in the Gagarin Cup final, they face the best of the East in Metallurg Magnitogorsk.
This match up gives us the straight from the movie script meeting between Alexander Radulov and Sergei Mozyakin, the two biggest stars in the KHL. It also gives us a look at Alexander Semin, who has been excellent for Metallurg, particularly in the playoffs. Everyone has always called him a clutch guy, though, right?
Game one of the final was played on Thursday, and while fans might want a close and exciting series, what happened was a CSKA blowout with a final score of 5-1. The machine keeps rolling.
Nikita Zaitsev led the team in ice time, as he generally does, and he is one of only two skaters on the team that has dressed for every game, the other being Radulov.
Somewhat unusually, Zaitsev and Denis Denisov had a lot of shots on goal. CSKA usually does not rely on shots from the defence for offence.
He didn't get a point on this one, but his play on the power play here is superb (number 22 in red):
With the score 3-1, Zaitsev took a nice leisurely skate and scored a beauty of a goal, his second of the playoffs:
And then for fun, he and Denisov played a game of no, I insist, after you:
Zaitsev is second in scoring for defencemen in the playoffs after this two point game.
Patrik Laine and Jesse Puljujärvi
The Liiga playoffs are at the semifinal stage and Kärpät, home of Puljujärvi is playing Laine's Tappara team. Game four went on Thursday and Kärpät seemed to have it in the bag with a 2-0 lead until Laine decided he didn't like that:
Top prospect Patrik Laine with 2 laser beams today in the Finnish Elite League playoffs (Liiga Semifinals) pic.twitter.com/pb1mG8Z6lj— Robert Söderlind (@HockeyWebCast) 7 April 2016
With that exciting first period out of the way, the game stayed tied through the second, the third, and the first overtime dominated by a Tappara team that seemed to never leave the Kärpät end.
In the opening seconds of the second overtime, Puljujärvi won the game for Kärpät, tying up the series at 2 games a piece.
Game 5 in the series goes on Saturday, and we may see some more fireworks from these two guys slated to go one and two in the draft at the end of June. We'll have to wait for May 6 to see Auston Matthews playing for the USA at the IIHF World Championships, and by then we'll know the Leafs draft ranking. The Finland roster is yet to be announced; we might see Laine and Puljujärvi also play in the World Junior Championship and the Worlds in the same year.