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Up Close Podcast - Episode 3 - Chad Johnson

In Episode 3 of "Flames Up Close," Ryan Leslie sits down with goaltender Chad Johnson.

by Ryan Leslie @ryanleslie73 /

Who is Chad Johnson?  

Well, the mild-mannered goaltender for the Flames is exactly what and who you think he is.  
He's the same on the ice as off. No panic to his game and cool as ice in front of the cameras and microphones. 

Just a consistent pro with a pleasant demeanor and because of that, and the way he's performed this season, he's endeared himself to his teammates, Flames fans and the media alike.

When we sat down to chat, I asked Johnson point blank "are you a starting goaltender?"

He responded with "yeah I am - whatever that label means to some people."

Hard to argue with the way he's played and the way his team has played in front of him.

Every night he's given his team a chance to win.

The 30-year-old grew up in southeast Calgary - a Flames fan, playing street hockey with his twin brother. They both shared the same NHL dream but only one made it. He credits his own personal focus as to why he made it.

On his journey, Johnson's played second fiddle to some big names during stays in other NHL markets: Henrik Lundquist in New York, Tuukka Rask in Boston, Mike Smith in Arizona and he was brilliant taking over for Robin Lehner in Buffalo.

Those other stops prepared him for this chance to wear the flaming "C" at the right time in his career and life.... Much to the delight of his mom whom Chad said is maybe the most delighted to have her boy home. She was the one who ever since he was six years old, shared the belief and his NHL dream. Dad was the execution - or the x's and o's - mom was the support.

Away from the rink, Johnson says he's a pretty simple guy. He and his wife are "foodies," he's got an old truck he's having restored and admits he doesn't care much for social media.  

He knows who he is - a hockey player - and doesn't spend time worrying about any kind of chatter about him.  
Chad Johnson, a local boy wearing the local colours. And doing it everyday with a smile on his face.  

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