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Chad Johnson turning his training camp around 09.23.13 at 2:15 pm ET
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Chad Johnson shut out the Red Wings Saturday. (AP)

Chad Johnson shut out the Red Wings Saturday. (AP)

Though his preseason had an ugly start, Chad Johnson clearly isn’t ready to give up on an NHL job with the Bruins.

Johnson, who was signed as a free agent this summer following the departure of Anton Khudobin, wasn’t anything special in the first few days of training camp and then turned in a woeful performance in his preseason debut, allowing three goals on eight shots against the Canadiens last Monday. The first of those goals came when he couldn’t glove an easy wrister and allowed the Habs to score on the rebound. Though it was just the first game of the preseason, it looked as though Niklas Svedberg may have become the favorite by not even playing.

Yet Johnson’s second start was drastically different. Playing the whole game against the Red Wings Saturday, Johnson stopped all 18 shots he saw in a shutout performance that he felt was more like him than his other start.

As things stand right now, the competition for Tuukka Rask‘s backup job would seem to remain open between Johnson and Svedberg. As Johnson looks at things, he doesn’t feel his poor first impression should be read too much into.

“It was my first period in three months. I obviously didn’t finish last [season] in the NHL, so you’re coming in having to adjust to the speed and getting comfortable there,” he said. “There’s obviously a little bit of an adjustment, so I was trying to catch up to pucks that first game and trying to get comfortable. There’s going to be mistakes and it didn’t go the way I wanted it to, so I just wanted to regroup and get back to my game and do the little things and get comfortable in the game like I’ve always done.”

Johnson, 27, is a veteran of 10 NHL games. In four games last season, he went 2-0-2 with a shutout while posting a .954 save percentage and 1.21 goals-against average.

The former Ranger and Coyote has played the vast majority of his professional career in the AHL, but he says that he actually finds it easier to get good reads on plays at the NHL level, since players are making less mistakes.

As such, he’s trying to making the most of whatever preseason ice time he can get at the NHL level, regardless of whether he sticks in Boston for the season.

“I think the way I play and the way my style is, it suits the speed and the style of the NHL game,” Johnson said. “That’s why I think I’ve always had success at this level. Down in the minors, it’s a different game, different speed. Guys have a little more time, they miss their shots, they miss their passes.

“For me, it’s hard to read the plays sometimes because they don’t happen the way they should happen. At this level, and in the last game, you can read plays and see things happen. For myself at this level, it helps my game because I like to see everything in front of me and make reads so I have success when I’ve had the opportunity to play at this level.”

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Chad Johnson, Carl Soderberg lift Bruins over Red Wings 09.21.13 at 10:00 pm ET
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Chad Johnson bounced back amidst a shaky preseason and Carl Söderberg scored twice as the Bruins beat the Red Wings, 2-0, Saturday night in Detroit.

Johnson, who had allowed three goals on eight shots Monday in Montreal, stopped all 18 shots he saw vs. the Red Wings. This came two days after the Red Wings (with a stronger lineup than the one they iced Saturday) scored eight goals on Malcolm Subban.

Söderberg, meanwhile, was playing on a line with Chris Kelly and Reilly Smith for the first time this preseason. As things currently stand, that is a good bet to be the Bruins’ third line when the season starts next month.

Patrice Bergeron played, marking the the first time he has done so this preseason. Both Bergeron and Gregory Campbell have recovered from their injuries suffered in the postseason.

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Chad Johnson not making strong case for backup job 09.17.13 at 8:40 am ET
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The Bruins gave Chad Johnson a one-year, one-way deal. (AP)

The Bruins gave Chad Johnson a one-year, one-way deal. (AP)

Last year, it was a question of whether the backup could become the starter. Actually, it was a question of whether there would be hockey. But before and after that, it was a question of whether the backup could become the starter.

Now, with Tuukka Rask clearly a No. 1 goalie and certainly being paid like one, the only question the B’s have in net is who will back up him up. As the games begin and training camp hits its second week, one of the most important jobs up for grabs remains just that.

The Bruins have two options to replace Anton Khudobin in Nicklas Svedberg and Chad Johnson, the latter of whom was signed on the opening day of free agency for $600,000, or $200,000 less than what Khudobin got when he departed Boston for Carolina in free agency. After a less-than-impressive first few days of camp, Johnson had a much-less-than-impressive performance in Monday’s preseason opener against the Canadiens.

Johnson, 27, was given a one-way contract in the offseason with the hope that he could be like Khudobin: a guy who hadn’t played more than 10 games in the NHL over the years, but was seasoned enough that he was ready for a backup role at the highest level.

On Monday, Johnson struggled right from the first shot he faced. The former Penguins fifth-round pick couldn’t glove a shot from Louis Leblanc, letting the puck bounce off his glove to set up a Travis Moen goal. He was also beaten cleanly by a P.K. Subban shot that was far from the laser Tim Thomas likely still has nightmares about. Given that there wasn’t much traffic and the shot was glove side, Johnson should have seen it the whole way and at least gotten his glove on it, but it cruised past him for the second of three goals he would allow on eight shots.

Johnson, who has played 10 career games and had strong performances in his time with the Coyotes last season, has been just as underwhelming in practice. He’s got the right attitude and has had his hands full while practicing with a group that includes David Krejci’s line, and the good news for him is that the B’s should and likely will take their time in making their decision. That gives Johnson some time to settle down and shake out what seemed to be some pretty apparent jitters Monday night.

Monday’s struggles aside, both Johnson and Claude Julien have said that after about a week of practices, games are where players will be able to separate themselves. In Julien’s words, some players can be “painful to watch” in practice and excel in games, or vice versa. Johnson agrees, but he still needs to find a place to excel.

“A lot of the stuff you do in practice really isn’t game situation style,” he said prior to Monday’s game. “Games are completely different. You have different momentum and different pressure throughout games. For the most part, you can’t really base a lot on practice. Obviously you want to have good practices — it carries over to the game — but for the most part it’s all about how you do in the games. That’s why you’ve got exhibitions here to kind of get in and show what you can do.”

Given Johnson’s struggles, Svedberg, who was the AHL’s top goaltender last season with Providence, should have the edge in the competition. Should Svedberg make the jump, Johnson would have to be paid his NHL salary at the AHL level, where he would likely split time with Malcolm Subban.

Julien, who admitted to not knowing much about the goalie prior to Peter Chiarelli signing him, recently defended Johnson. Julien said he liked what he had seen from the goaltender, who picked up a 21-save shutout against the Predators in one of his four starts last season.

“He’s had some years in the minors and I think he’s had some games in Phoenix and he’s had some decent numbers and played well enough to consider signing him. Again I’m not going to sit here and say I was the one pushing for it because I haven’t seen him play that much. Our pro scouts and Peter have watched and played enough that he certainly deserving of being brought into our organization and battling for that backup spot.”

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Takeaways from Bruins’ preseason opener: Power play looks good, Chad Johnson doesn’t 09.16.13 at 10:03 pm ET
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Jarome Iginla

Jarome Iginla

The Bruins opened their preseason schedule with a 6-3 win over the Canadiens Monday in Montreal. The team will play the Capitals Tuesday in Baltimore before heading back to play the Red Wings on Thursday at TD Garden.

Here are some takeaways from the game:

Jarome Iginla had a pair of goals for the B’s, one of which was one of Boston’s four power-play goals on the day. Milan Lucic had three assists, while David Krejci also scored on a power-play goal. Safe to say the members of that line are getting used to one another.

– The power-play unit that the B’s used in practice Monday morning paid dividends on Iginla’s first goal. The unit featured Lucic, Carl Soderberg and Iginla up front with Torey Krug and Krejci at the point. Lucic fed Iginla down low with a cross-ice pass, with Iginla slapping a one-timer that trickled past Carey Price from the left circle.

– Regarding the backup goaltender battle, Chad Johnson did nothing to help his case. He didn’t face a shot until 12:06 of the first period, and his inability to glove the easy shot from Louis Leblanc led to a rebound and a Travis Moen goal.

Johnson also should have had the Canadiens’ second goal, a P.K. Subban shot that didn’t go through any traffic but beat Johnson cleanly. The third and final goal he allowed on the eight shots he saw came on a nice tic-tac-toe play by the Habs’ first line with Max Pacioretty finishing, but it was overall a very ugly performance for Johnson.

Malcolm Subban relieved Johnson halfway through the second and stopped all 12 shots he saw. Subban isn’t a serious contender for the vacant backup goalie job, but he certainly looked more composed than Johnson.

Subban did take a penalty, as he played the puck outside the trapezoid, but he kept the Habs from scoring on the power play.

– While Chad Johnson struggled in goal, Nick Johnson had a pair of goals, the second of which came when he turned a blocked shot into a breakaway. His wrist shot was stopped by Carey Price, but Johnson stuck with it and buried the rebound.

– Lucic was in midseason form as physicality (and taking penalties) went, as crosschecks were buy-one-get-one at the start of the second period with Leblanc.

- Adam McQuaid dropped the gloves with Stefan Fournier in the third period. McQuaid has been no stranger to dropping the gloves over the years, and he might need to pick up a couple more with Andrew Ference gone.

– Defenseman Zach Trotman, who has drawn rave reviews from Claude Julien, scored a power-play goal on a blast from the point with Nick Johnson screening in front in the third period.

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Chad Johnson arrives ready to earn spot as Bruins backup goalie 09.04.13 at 7:38 pm ET
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Chad Johnson allowed five goals over four NHL games last season. (AP)

Chad Johnson allowed five goals over four NHL games last season. (AP)

WILMINGTON — It isn’t the most glamorous competition, but perhaps one overlooked vacant roster spot heading into training camp is that of Tuukka Rask‘s backup.

The Bruins have two options to replace Anton Khudobin, who left the B’s on the first day of free agency to take a one-year deal with the Hurricanes. They are 24-year-old Niklas Svedberg, last season’s Baz Bastien winner as AHL goalie of the year in Providence, and 27-year-old Chad Johnson. Between them they have played 10 career NHL games, but one of them can expect to play 25-plus this coming season. Johnson, who signed with the B’s on the same day that Khudobin left, hopes it’s him.

“I’m coming into camp here, I’m going to earn my spot, so I’ve worked hard this summer to do that,” he said Wednesday. “Svedberg, [Malcolm] Subban, all the other goalies here, we’re all here to earn our spot. There’s a reason there’s a camp, so I’m looking forward to doing that.”

If Johnson is to be the Bruins’ man, he’ll be doing so with little NHL experience. With that being said, it’s worth considering that Khudobin, who was a fine backup for the B’s last season (2.32 goals-against average and .920 save percentage in 14 games), had only played seven career NHL games prior to it.

“I don’t think I’ve at all established myself,” Johnson said. “I think it takes quite a few years to do that. You always have to prove yourself, even if you’ve been in this league for five or 10 years. It doesn’t really matter. For me, this is definitely my opportunity to get my foot in the door. I’m hoping to take advantage of it.”

Johnson was drafted 125th overall by the Penguins in the 2006 draft, but never played in their organization. After finishing at the University of Alaska (where he played well enough to be a Hobey Baker finalist in 2009), he was traded to the Rangers. He spent three seasons there, playing mostly in the AHL but making six NHL appearances before spending last season in Phoenix’ organization. He had a 3.00 GAA and .903 save-percentage for Portland in the AHL, and one of his four appearances for the Coyotes last season was a 21-save shutout against the Predators.

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Bruins announce minor moves 07.05.13 at 8:43 pm ET
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In the press release to announce the signing of Jarome Iginla, the Bruins also announced that they have signed four other players in goalie Chad Johnson, forwards Bobby Robbins and Nick Johnson as well as defenseman Mike Moore.

Robbins’ deal is a two-year, two-way deal, while Chad Johnson got a one-year, one-way deal and Nick Johnson and Moore got one-year, two-way deals.

From their press release:

In four regular season games with the Phoenix Coyotes in 2012-13, Chad Johnson posted a 2-0-2 record with a 1.21 goals against average and a .954 save percentage with one shutout.

The 27-year-old netminder saw action in six games with the New York Rangers from 2009-11, posting a 1-2-1 record, giving him a career goals against average of 1.97 and a .929 save percentage. In total, Johnson has played in 10 NHL games and has recorded a 3-2-3 record.

The goaltender appeared in a total of 170 American Hockey League games from 2009-13 with the Hartford Wolfpack, Connecticut Whale and Portland Pirates, compiling a 74-70-12 record. In 2009-10, Johnson set a career-high with 24 wins as a member of Hartford Wolfpack (AHL), where he posted a 2.54 goals against average and a .911 save percentage.

The 6’3’’, 195-pound native of Calgary, Alberta was selected by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the fifth round (125th overall) of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. The Penguins traded the rights to Johnson to the New York Rangers on June 27, 2009 in exchange for a fifth round pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft and Phoenix signed Johnson as a free agent in 2013.

Robins has skated the past two seasons (2011-13) with the Providence Bruins (American Hockey League) and appeared in 107 games, registering six goals and 17 assists for 23 points. In 2012-13, the forward racked up 316 penalty minutes (career high), which led both the P-Bruins and the AHL. The 31-year-old also led Providence in PIM’s in 2011-12, amassing 150 penalty minutes in 33 games.

The 31-year-old Robins has skated in 212 AHL games in his career, recording 17 goals and 28 assists while accruing 610 penalty minutes.

In 12 AHL playoff games with Providence this year, Robins earned a goal and an assist with 69 penalty minutes, which led the league.

The 6’1’’, 220-pound forward is from Peshtigo, Wisconsin and played his collegiate hockey at UMass-Lowell.

Nick Johnson skated in 17 games in 2013 for the Phoenix Coyotes, recording four goals and two assists for six points with a plus-three rating. The 27-year-old forward played in 10 games for Pittsburgh from 2009-11 and 77 games for Minnesota in 2011-12. In total, the winger has accrued 14 goals and 23 assists for 37 points in 104 NHL games.

He appeared in combined 183 AHL games with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (169 games) and the Portland Pirates (14 games) from 2007-13, recording 53 goals and 17 assists with 142 penalty minutes.

The 6’1’’, 183-pound native of Calgary, Alberta was drafted by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the third round (67th overall) of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft. He was claimed off waivers by the Minnesota Wild on September 29, 2011 before signing a one-year, two-way contract with Phoenix on July 11, 2012.

Moore joins the Bruins organization after spending the previous year in the Predators system, playing in 50 games for Milwaukee Admirals. The 28-year-old notched five goals and 11 assists for 16 points with Milwaukee, while accumulating 42 penalty minutes. Prior to Nashville, Moore spent four seasons in the San Jose organization, skating in 253 games for the Worcester Sharks from 2007-12, tallying 14 goals and 58 assists while racking up 365 penalty minutes. While with the Sharks, Moore appeared in six NHL games with San Jose, potting one goal with seven PIM’s

The blueliner has skated in 27 AHL postseason games, earning one goal and one assist with 33 penalty minutes.

Moore checks in at 6’1’’ and weighs 206 pounds. The Calgary, Alberta native spent 2004-08 with the Princeton University Tigers before signing with the San Jose Sharks as a free agent on April 8, 2008. On July 3, 2012 the Nashville Predators signed Moore as a free agent.

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