Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 11/4/14
New_york_rangers_9a4e
BOSTON — It’s not easy to be a backup anything. Many times, you sit idly while someone else occupies the position you wish to hold. When you finally get your chance, everything you do is scrutinized even more because the sample size is so small. All of that applies to being a backup goaltender in the NHL, and it’s even more prevalent when you’re the backup for the Boston Bruins and are playing understudy to someone like Tuukka Rask. Boston backup Chad Johnson knows that, so he’s obviously doing all he can to take advantage of any chances he gets. He got a chance — his fourth of the season — Saturday afternoon at TD Garden, and he didn’t disappoint. The backup goalie allowed just two goals, as the Bruins would eventually win 3-2. It wasn’t a sparkling effort or anything like that, but it was effective and it was a win. That’s all you can really ask out of your backup, and Johnson has continued to fill the role well. With Saturday’s win, he’s now 3-1-0 on the season, giving the Bruins a chance to win in all four starts. “We’ve kind of grinded it out here,” Johnson said “It’s always nice to get wins. It’s my job to step in there and get two points, and it’s nice to get rewarded like that.” Johnson’s job was made even more difficult in a way Saturday against Carolina. Johnson made a save on a Jeff Skinner wrist shot at 9:13 of the first. And then he waited. And waited. And waited. One of the league’s anemic offenses, the Hurricanes went nearly 23 minutes in the first and second period without a shot on goal. In theory, that’s not the worst thing in the world for a goalie. If there are no shots, there are no goals. Yet, it can work against you as well, especially when you’re a backup who can go days or weeks without game action. “It’s just knowing that the next shot is very important,” Johnson said. “Situation like that, you get a bad  bounce or they’re on a breakaway or a deflection comes on me. I know you have to be ready; it doesn’t matter if you have 20 shots a period or two, you have to be ready.” It’s a situation where mental sharpness and physical sharpness must coincide and work simultaneously. The goalie can’t let his mind wonder, and he can’t stiffen up. If one or both happen, that one shot — assuming it ever comes — could be on its way to the back of the net. “You try and follow the play a little bit more with your eyes,” Johnson said, while also admitting he did some extra skating during breaks in play to keep loose. “You just try to focus on the play. When it is in the zone, you try to follow it. You just try not to think about not having shots for 10 minutes. When you think about it, it can sort of put you at a disadvantage.” The Hurricanes actually tested Johnson much more in the third period. After facing just 10 shots in the first and second periods combined, Carolina put 14 shots on Johnson in the third. He stopped all but one of them, allowing a goal to Patrick Dwyer who beat the goalie on a 2-on-nobody-but-the-goalie breakaway that would have been asking a lot for any goaltender to stop. His 22-save effort set the table for David Krejci to eventually score the game-winning goal in overtime. Unsurprisingly, Johnson’s work Saturday and for the entire season has been appreciated by head coach Claude Julien, as Julien is the one who has to try and balance the workload of his goaltenders. “That’s tough for any goalie,” Julien said of the lack of shots in the middle of Saturday’s game. “I think when you sit in there and halfway through the game you’ve faced seven, 10 shots, that’s not easy. At the end of the day, you look and he’s 3-1. That’s what you want from your second goaltender is that he can go in there and allow you to win some games. So far he’s done a pretty good job despite the fact that he’s had some long breaks between those games.” Now, it’s back to the waiting game for Johnson, which is the way of life for a backup, a job he’s certainly done well enough in his young Bruins career.Filed under: Boston Bruins
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Family searching for missing Ohio State football player

CM Punk opens up about leaving WWE, says he'll never return

Manny Pacquiao responds to Floyd Mayweather diss

Australian cricket player dies from head injuries

Wrigley Field bleacher renovation may be delayed

Yankees wanted Rollins but Phillies' price was too high

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Pop misses game for medical reasons; Messina takes over

John Beilein upset with ESPN for late start time to game

Tyson Chandler felt like Knicks' scapegoat at times

Fred Jackson has 'no respect' for Donte Whitner

Devon Still responds to unpaid child support allegations

Diamondbacks sign Cuban slugger Yasmany Tomas

Things to be thankful for in the NBA this season

Eric Berry sends out Thanksgiving message

WATCH: Ronda Rousey talks about Eminem referencing her

WATCH: Dwayne Harris dirty hit on Nolan Carroll sparks fight

Steelers turned down chance to be called 'America's Team'

Report: Small chance Raiders-Rams could be moved to Indy

Todd Gurley begins rehab after surgery on knee for torn ACL

Brodeur to practice with Blues

OSU player posts Michigan player's girlfriend as his 'WCW'

Jim Harbaugh's family may not eat turkey thanks to NBC

Ole Miss' The Grove threatened by Mississippi State fan

Is it time for the Redskins to move on from Robert Griffin III?

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

WATCH: Ronda Rousey talks Eminem

CM Punk opens up about leaving WWE

Wrigley renovation may be delayed

Steelers could have been America's Team

John Beilein upset with ESPN

Should Washington move on from RG3?

Dominic Raiola fined for cheap shots

Rose leaves with injury again

WATCH: Pierce signs for fan during game

Report: McCoy to start over RG3

Braxton Miller headed to Oregon?

Game of the week: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.