While this wasn't the scenario Glen Gulutzan had drawn up to get Chad Johnson back in net, the timing is almost spot on.
Gulutzan had pencilled Johnson in for one of the team's upcoming games but with Brian Elliott out due to illness, the Flames bench boss will turn to the Calgary native ahead of tonight's battle with the Boston Bruins.
"It's very close to what we thought would happen. Ells isn't feeling well today so Johnny will get the start," Gulutzan confirmed. "It works out because we were getting very close to that, as we were going anyway. I reminded everybody here probably a week ago that this streak that we're on, Johnny was involved in Florida. It's a non-issue there. We wanted to get Johnny involved. We feel we've got two good goalies and he's going to go tonight."
Tonight's game will be Johnson's first appearance since Feb. 24 in the Flames' 4-2 win over the Florida Panthers. He was named the game's first star after he made 36 saves at BB&T Arena.
"It's been awhile," Johnson said. "I want to play. That's why I play the game - to play. It's going to be exciting. It's my old team and I love playing against these guys. They're playing well so it will be good."
With Elliott going 13-1-1 in his last 15 starts, Johnson has had to bide his time and wait to a chance to get back in net. While the experience can be frustrating at times, he understands the process.
"It's tough but we're winning hockey games so it's exciting to watch it all come together. Obviously you want to be a part of it, this time of year and when things are going well, the team's going well, you want to be involved in that and contribute.
"For me, it's just try to stay positive and work hard in practice and just have fun. That's all you can really do."
"Ells deserves to play and everyone who has been in the lineup deserves to play, who has contributed they way they have the last little bit. It's part of the game and it really just comes down to timing. That's one thing I've learned over the years, it's all about timing."
Johnson holds a 18-13-1 record with a 2.54 GAA and a .913 save percentage this season.