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EIGHT QUESTIONS WITH JACK JOHNSON

by Staff Writer / Los Angeles Kings
Jack Johnson quotes from YoungStars media day on Friday:

Q. You're coming off a big win, so you're pumped up. The kings are starting to turn a corner maybe. Do you feel like you've got it going in the right direction?

JACK JOHNSON: Yeah, we hope so. We've come off two big games against Detroit who we didn't win. And we had a good game against Anaheim last night. So we're looking to keep going. We've put together a few wins. So it seems that we're going in the right direction.

Q. You can imagine I've talked to guys about all the skill that's going to be on display during the Young Stars competition. Would you rather see a physical element to it?

JACK JOHNSON: I don't know. I think the skill level is what fans want to see right now. Obviously we all want to have a good time. We're all going to be out there playing pretty much a glorified hockey game.

Q. But there is a guy like Lucic and David Clarkson on the other side. So I think there is an interesting dynamic that could be presenting itself this year. What have you been able to work on? I know everybody was really focused on you last year because you got a handful of games in at the end. Was that important for you going through the summer and getting ready for this year?

JACK JOHNSON: Yeah, it was. I went from my last college game to 24 hours playing. I was able to spend all summer knowing what to prepare for and what it was like. Not having that unknown helped me a lot going into training camp.

Q. What are you looking forward to the most about the weekend?

JACK JOHNSON: Just being around some of the superstars in the league. Guys that I grew up watching and idolizing and trying to play like. I get to play in the Young Stars game here with a couple of my buddies.

Q. Namely Pat Kane, Eric Johnson, pat Mueller. Who are the guys you're looking forward to playing with, the guys that you were idolizing, you said?

JACK JOHNSON: Oh, just being in the locker room with guys like Scott Neidermeyer and Dion Phaneuf, and if Datsyuk and guys I watched in college. Being around those guys is going to be a real privilege.

Q. There are probably some guys in the east that you like even though they're not on your side?

JACK JOHNSON: Oh, yeah, definitely. They're the All-Stars. Q. Disappointed Crosby's not here?

JACK JOHNSON: Understandable, but it's too bad he's not here. He deserves to be here. It's kind of too bad it's an All-Star Game without the best player in the league.

Q. What kind of expectations do you put on yourself in the second half of the season and where you're at so far?

JACK JOHNSON: Oh, it's just trying to get my full rookie season under my belt. Trying to learn as much as I can every day. You're usually out there against other team's top lines, so I'm trying to learn as much as I can to be as solid defensively as possible, and as reliable as I can for the coaches.

Q. You've had a lot of help, I would assume, from a guy like Rob Blake in that regard?

JACK JOHNSON: Definitely. He's been awesome for me on and off the ice with nonstop encouragement. Just a guy I've been able to talk to.

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