Training Camp Notebook (Oct. 2): Preview for Monday’s Game, Kent Johnson on His No-Look Assist, and More

By Coby Maeir on October 2, 2023 at 5:42 pm
Columbus Blue Jackets center Kent Johnson (91) takes a shot on goal during the third period against the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Center.
Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

The Blue Jackets' first regular game is in just 10 days. Before that, they have four more preseason games, starting with Monday's home contest against the St. Louis Blues at 7 p.m. ET. 

Here are the lines and power-play units from Monday's morning skate:

Kent Johnson's No-Look Assist On Saturday

Johnson and Justin Danforth, the recipient of Johnson's pass, broke down the goal from Saturday's game.

"When I got the puck," Johnson said. "[I] just tried to shake their d-man there on me. And I was really happy with that move and then got a little space and was hoping I could take it to the net, but I couldn't, there was a d-man right there. So just [went] around the net. And I saw [Danforth] in front of the net."

Danforth said that he was expecting the pass from Johnson.

"I knew he was gonna make that pass when he picked up the puck in the corner," Danforth said. "That's kind of when I started thinking about it because I just waited around. He loves making plays. So I mean, that was the play to be made and he executed it perfectly."

Johnson added that Saturday wasn't the first time they combined on a goal like this.

"We actually had a similar goal last year in the preseason," Johnson said. "Like the exact same play, opposite side. And we talked about it before the game. We're like, 'I remember we've got good chemistry.' So it's pretty funny and then I knew [Danforth was] gonna pop out there and [I] just was able to find him there. And [it was a] great bury by him to underrated I think it was pretty hard to get it up there like in that position. And so yeah, it was a pretty good—pretty cool one."

Danforth called Johnson a great player and a playmaker.

"He just makes a lot of plays," Danforth said. "So I feel like when you play on a line with a guy like that, you've just got to compliment him and make sure you're always ready for the puck because you never know when it's coming. And he's definitely not scared to try things. So you just gotta keep that in mind."

Soundbites From Pascal Vincent's Media Availability

  • On young prospects being called up too early: "When you are being called up, you don't want to come back down. You just don't want to become a call-up. You want to become an NHL player."
  • On Denton Mateychuk's chances of making the team: "We have great hopes for him. And he's making a case for himself. But we don't want to go too fast."
  • On the team's play style: "The way we're gonna play is the center will take the face-off, and after that, it's all interchangeable. My vision is you're going to have three forwards and two [defensemen], and not a center, right [wing] or left wing. And we need to play with speed. And if you just stay on your side as a right winger, then you're just on your side, you're easy to play against. So we're gonna have a center and two wings and two [defensemen] on the face-offs. Once the puck is dropped, we have three forwards and two [defensemen], and then we're gonna go from there. Obviously, the centers will be in a position of being the center more often, but they need to be interchangeable.”
  • On Dmitri Voronkov: “I don't know if it's going to be early. But at some point, this man will be a beast in the NHL.”

This is the final week of training camp before the Blue Jackets’ opening-night roster will be finalized.