Puckspeak: Brent Johnson
Q: Do you agree with Boston's Tim Thomas that goalies in their 30s have advantages that younger ones don't?
A: I would agree with Tim 100 percent. Once you reach a certain age -- and I don't know what that was for me, but it was a few years ago -- you think you can get away with a lot more in the offseason. And you can't. A guy like Tim plays an awful lot more than I do, but for any goaltender, once you reach that maturity age, you know what you have to do in the offseason, and you almost know the game better. It's stuff you wouldn't think of when you're younger. It's not just making the saves anymore.
Q: What link do you see between your experience and the way you were able to handle the recent goaltender controversy?
A: I don't know what the linkage is, but there is one. Everything is linked in that way. I'm not always the best on life lessons or whatever, but it goes to maturity level and paying attention to everything you do and maybe realizing that playing is a privilege with all these young guys out there.
Q: What were you like as a younger goalie in terms of mental approach?
A: When I was in St. Louis (from 1998 to 2004), I really had no perception of anything possibly going wrong. I think I was living in a bubble. Everything would be, "You'll win a few games, you'll lose a few games, but you'll always be here." You were there already. You didn't have to work at it that hard -- at least you didn't realize it then. It doesn't come to you on a silver platter, and you don't realize that as a younger player.