Courtesy of Hertz

Drive to the Net: Johnson steps up

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Jack Johnson. -- MATT SUNDAY / DKPS

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- I haven't shied away from criticizing Jack Johnson this season.

It's only fair to also acknowledge when he's doing things right.

Johnson has been back on his natural left side of the ice for seven games now. Some defensemen will say that they're comfortable on both sides, coaches will say the player is capable on both sides but, ideally, they'd be better playing on their natural side. While Johnson's play this season hasn't been great, there's no doubt that a part of that has come from him playing on his off side.

The advanced stats during these past seven games still aren't spectacular. Johnson's Corsi For percentage over the last seven games is 43.72, actually a decrease from his season average of 45.58.

His Goals For percentage (essentially plus/minus in percent form) have improved though in this short seven-game sample, and that's what really matters. Johnson's Goals For percentage at five-on-five throughout the season is 42.53. In these past seven games, that number has risen to 70 percent, the second-highest among Penguins defensemen who have played in at least two of those games. Only Marcus Pettersson has seen a better percentage, clocking in at 75 percent.

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