CSNWashington.com observes that when Michal Neuvirth bolted for the Czech League earlier this week, the Capitals were left without a goalie for their daily practice sessions at Kettler Capitals Iceplex.
So Brooks Laich picked up the phone and called former teammate and former Penguins netminder Brent Johnson, who happens to live just a few blocks away from the Arlington practice facility.
“They need a goalie and I’m happy to oblige,” Johnson said. “I come out and face some good shooters and help them out in the process.”
Johnson, 35, played 91 games for the Capitals from 2005 to 2009, going 32-39-12 during that time. He met his future wife, Erica, during that time and since her family lived in Burke, Va., the couple bought a home in Arlington in 2007.
In three years as a backup to Marc-Andre Fleury, Johnson went 62-29-18 with the Penguins but was not re-signed following last season. Now an unrestricted free agent, Johnson said he’s hoping the NHL lockout does not signal the end of his playing career.
“I’m up in the air,” he said. “We’ll see what happens if and when everything starts up. Yeah, I’m concerned, but at my age you start looking at the future and what you’re going to do next. Lockout or not, I still would have been in the same spot.”