Even after being a healthy scratch, it sounds like Ryan Johansen‘s swagger remains intact.
He returned to the Columbus Blue Jackets’ lineup in Saturday’s eventual 3-2 shootout win against the Philadelphia Flyers, and while he didn’t score, Johansen played more than 20 minutes.
Johansen also saw other key Blue Jackets take a benching in stride during this trying season, especially Scott Hartnell.
With all that in mind, he indicated to the Columbus Dispatch that he’s not struggling with self-doubt on the ice.
“I’ve been in the league for five years now, so if I’m scared to make a mistake now, then there is something wrong with me, and there is something wrong with my attitude towards playing hockey,” Johansen said. “It’s my job to go out there and have fun and do what I do. If I make mistakes, that’s hockey. But if I keep making the same mistakes over, that’s where it becomes an issue.”
The 23-year-old continues to say the right things, even when it’s debatable whether other members of the Blue Jackets organization are doing the same. (Team president John Davidson didn’t exactly shoot down trade rumors for Johansen, for example.)
Then again, it’s not too surprising that the kid is confident, considering how he heckled Brandon Dubinsky some time ago.
It’s reasonable to worry that John Tortorella’s tactics might leave a player timid, but that might not be much of a concern here.
Now, does that mean they’re really getting along? That may be another discussion entirely.
(H/T to The Score.)