What can you say about Andreas Johnsson’s 2019/2020 campaign other than “Well, he was there.”
#Leafs have recalled Nic Petan, Martin Marincin and Pontus Aberg from the Marlies.
Andreas Johnsson going on LTIR with a leg injury that will be reevaluated after Christmas. He didn't return for the third period of Wednesday's loss after blocking a shot.
— Kristen Shilton (@kristen_shilton) December 6, 2019
Maple Leafs forward Andreas Johnsson has been placed on injured reserve. #LeafsForever
— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) February 16, 2020
OH. We can’t even really say that? Well this one should be fun.
By the numbers
After a strong rookie season that saw Johnsson put up 20 goals, his second full season in the NHL has been one Johnsson would most likely prefer to forget. In between two stints on injured reserve, Johnsson has only managed 21 points, with a mere 8 goals (only 3 of which came at 5v5, compared to the 16 he scored in 18/19.) While such a stark drop off in scoring may seem concerning, the biggest issue with Johnson this year appears to be a swap of a peak for a valley in terms of shooting percentage, especially at 5v5. While his 10.3 SH% on the year does not appear to be all that low, it’s inflated by Johnsson scoring 4 of his 8 goals on the powerplay with a ridiculous shooting percentage of 28.54% on the man advantage. Conversely, Johnsson has shot a meager 4.84% at 5v5 in 19/20, compared to 18/19, where he shot an inflated 15.69 SH% at 5v5. In terms of shot location however, Johnsson was still getting his fair share of chances around the net, as illustrated by an almost identical ixG/60 in 19/20 as the one he posted in 18/19.
What we’ve seen so far
Andreas Johnsson blocked a shot in Colorado in early December, which lead to a month-long stint on the IR, causing him to miss 15 games. After a brief return of just 13 games, Johnsson suffered a second serious injury, this time to his knee, after colliding with teammate Kasperi Kapanen during the Leafs 3-2 loss to the Dallas Stars on February 13th. The winger underwent knee surgery six days later, after which it was announced he was expected to miss six months.
When Johnsson was on last season, he seems to be a guy who loves to drive the net to create chances, which he’s demonstrated in his two playoff goals to date.
How will he do against Columbus?
Unfortunately, he won’t play. In his availability before camp opened, Kyle Dubas suggested that the second round may be the best case scenario for Andreas Johnsson’s return.
It’s difficult to say what to expect from Johnsson should he return to the line-up. We learned on Wednesday that he has been back on the ice for a little over a month and that while the plan is for Johnsson to join the team in the bubble, his timeline is still not concrete. This is problematic for the winger, as not only has fellow top six left wing Zach Hyman had a career year, but the returning Ilya Mikheyev (who by all accounts has been exceptional) and Nicholas Robertson (who appears to be getting an extended look skating in the regular group at practice) have created even more obstacles for Johnsson to overcome if and when he is healthy enough to return to play. With a looming offseason cap crunch potentially forcing the Leafs to make some difficult decisions on some of their more highly priced players, Johnsson could really benefit from a strong return to remind the organization of what he is capable of should the Maple Leafs make a deep enough run for him to return.