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Erik Johnson: ‘I Think Everybody’s Hungry To Do It Again, I Really Do’, Tampa Bay Goal Challenges in Final ‘Absurd’

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Erik Johnson Avalanche Stanley Cup

Erik Johnson had himself one heck of an off-season. He partied like it was 1999 as soon as the Colorado Avalanche won the Stanley Cup, and why not? He is the longest-tenured member of the team and has had his share of setbacks in his career. Then, all of a sudden, it was sunshine and rainbows. His day with the Cup included taking it to the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club in California on a day one of his horses, named MacKinnon, ran a race.

But party time is over, and even though the Avalanche are not officially back to work yet, he and many of his teammates are skating regularly at Family Sports Center. EJ took some time out before his skate today to talk with Altitude 92.5 about the coming season. Some highlights from his talk with Moser, Lombardi and Kane:

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  • On if winning the Cup seems real yet? “Until you go through it, and have to do it, it’s so much harder than you ever realized. I hade respect, but that’s why I have so much respect now for Tampa. They got back there three years in a row, won it twice. That’s so hard to do. Just the mental ups and downs, the physical ups and downs. For sure, it tops anything I’ve ever done in my life and probably anything I’ll ever do. The only thing you can top it is to do it again.”
  • On why everybody on the team did not go to everyone else’s Cup party, like they originally said: “You realize you’ll be on the road the entire summer.”
  • He was talking to Bo Byram the other day, and Byram said “the entire town of Cranbrook (B.C.) was in his backyard” for his Cup party.
  • Nathan MacKinnon had a mechanical bull at his Stanley Cup party back home in Nova Scotia.
  • Erik Johnson contemplated retirement before last season, but thought, “Am I going to retire at 33? (Bleep), that doesn’t sound too good.”
  • He said Joe Sakic called him toward the end of July last year and said “If you feel good, we’d love to have you back. We’re going to need you.”
  • On Tampa Bay challenging most every goal in the Finals: “Honestly, it was absurd. Every time it was like, ‘This is not real. How is this happening?’ I was just kind of floored, like, ‘this doesn’t make any sense.’ It would be a completely legal goal and they’re barking at the officials. At one point I was just like, ‘give it a rest.'”
  • “To me, the best definition of a teammate is someone who does what’s best for the team, not necessarily what’s best for yourself. We kind of had that mindset all year long.”
  • “I think everbody is hungry to do it again, I really do. Honestly, I feel just as hungry as I’ve ever been.”
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Adrian Dater - Kiss and Larry Bird fan. Writer with @Gambling and @Bookies, Avs Insider with 104.3 The Fan. Denver Post, SI, Bleacher Report alum, author of seven books.

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idavsfan

On Tampa Bay challenging most every goal in the Finals: – sounds like Tampa is coached by a lawyer – oh wait – they are 🙂

Glendon Gulliver

All I can say to Tampa!

too many men shirt.jpg
Joel Stefaniak

Florida man can’t accept reality bleeding into hockey was pretty surreal..

wensink18

Great article Adrian, thank you.
EJ was a huge part of the Avs winning the cup.
For the past 2 years Colorado has had the best top 6 forwards and the best 1st pair d-men. They won the cup this past year because of the sustantial upgrade of the 2nd and 3rd pair d-men:
Byram > Girard
Manson > Graves
EJ > Timmins
JJ > Nemeth.
AINEC.

Alexander A

Mackinnon 2022 > Mackinnon 2021
Rantanen 2022 > Rantanen 2021
Landeskog 2022 > Landeskog 2021
Nichushkin 2022 > Nichushkin 2021
Burakovsky 2022 > Burakovsky 2021
Kadri 2022 > Kadri 2021
Lekhonen 2022 > ???
Compher 2022 > Compher 2021
Makar 2022 > Makar 2021
Toews 2022 > Toews 2021

Last edited 14 days ago by Alexander A
huckleberry

“Just as hungry!” Let’s do it again boys!!!!

gurnblanston

Any chance EJ will get his jersey raised one day?

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