Seeing his first action in the National Hockey League in almost two years, recent Phoenix Coyotes call-up Chad Johnson made 21 stops against the Nashville Predators to earn his first NHL shutout. For most goaltenders, that would have been a crowning achievement.
For the Coyotes, it's par for the course.
Following Johnson's return to Portland of the American Hockey League, starter Mike Smith, who had been nursing a lower-body injury, posted three shutouts in eight games. It's all a byproduct of the stifling defense coach Dave Tippett has instituted since coming to Phoenix prior to the start of the 2009-10 season. It's a system that has benefitted greatly from the work of goaltending coach Sean Burke.
"I think he's the best," Tippett said of Burke. "He's done a heck of a job for us."