Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson was one of the key players on Team USA’s blue line during the 2010 Olympics. This time around, however, he’ll have to watch his country play from home.
Johnson tells Adrian Dater of The Denver Post he’s “disappointed” he didn’t get the call to represent his country in Sochi.
“I didn’t expect to make it at the beginning of the year. But how well I’ve played these last three months, I was back in the mix. So that’s probably the hardest part, knowing that I couldn’t have done any more as far as my play to make it. You know, I played fantastic these first three months, so it’s disappointing, but my focus is on this team now,” Johnson said. “I’ll use that two-week break to recharge and get ready for the playoffs.”
Colorado is currently third in the Central Division and have a seven point lead on Dallas and Minnesota in fourth. Playoffs are a very real thing for the Avs and Johnson is a key part of that. He has six goals and 18 points through 40 games, making him the top point-producer on their blue line.
Being the guy that helps push the play of one of the higher-scoring, faster teams certainly helped him make a case for the Olympics. That said, it was clear the brain trust behind Team USA found players they liked better for that role.