Gerry Cheevers not getting an invite to Team Canada because of his jump to the
World Hockey Association, Eddie Johnston was the third goalie on the team.
Playing behind Tony Esposito and Ken
Dryden, "E.J." never got into a minute of playing time. He however
often dressed as the backup to either Esposito or Dryden, allowing for one of
those two to rest fully when they were not playing.
E.J. did get to play in a 4-4 tie
exhibition game against the Swedish National team. He played "exceptionally
well" in that game
But Johnston didn't mind at all, and
he thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to just be one of the guys and practice
with the NHL's best.
"It's something that I'll never
forget for the rest of my life," he wrote in Brian McFarlane's book Team
Canada 1972: Where Are They Now? "Even though I've won Stanley Cups, I
don't think that kissing Lord Stanley's old trophy ever had the impact on me
that winning with Team Canada did that year."