Last night was Ross Johnston's first game since February 12, which was 15 days prior to the Islanders game last night. Johnston essentially didn't play for two weeks but when he returned to the lineup, it didn't look like he missed a beat.
He came in for Matt Martin on the fourth line and provided a nice little spark for New York with some playmaking ability. Yes, you read that right, Ross Johnston was making plays.
He had a primary assist on Casey Cizikas' goal in the second period:
When thinking of Ross Johnston, the skills that come to mind are his hitting, fighting ability, net-front presence, things like that. Never in my wildest dreams would I expect a play in transition like that from Ross.
It was a perfect feed to Casey Cizikas who made no mistake about it. The scary thing was Ross wasn't done. He picked up another primary assist in the third period for his first career multi-point night:
Who is this man?! The recognition to realize that even though he was in the slot that Andy Greene had the better look to his left. That's big time stuff.
He's had a career year for the Islanders so far with 5 points in just 14 games. Yes, Ross doesn't play or score very often but this year he's made his opportunities count when he's gotten the chance. Matt Martin has been in and out of the lineup as expected at his age and Johnston has filled in just fine.
If Matt Martin isn't in the lineup, then I'm all good with Johnston getting some playing time. My issue has always been when you have the regular fourth line in of Martin - Cizikas - Clutterbuck, and Johnston in. That's too repetitive for my taste.
Either way, Ross was good for the Islanders last night in their 4-0 win and deserves some love from the fanbase for it.