directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Pre-game thoughts: Don't underestimate Kings

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Saturday, December 6, 2008

Pre-game thoughts: Don't underestimate Kings

This Kings team is no push over and that is the message the Jackets have to take into the Staple Center tonight. They site 10-11-4 with 24 points which is one less than the Jackets at 25. The Kings could easily leap frog the Jackets in the Western Conference standings with two regulation points tonight.

The Kings have also lost 3 in a row coming off a 5-4 shoot out loss to Edmonton last night. They are certainly viewing this game as a much needed remedy to their losing ways.

The Jackets are coming off a hard fought 1 goal loss against the NHL's best squad in San Jose. They cannot afford to take the night off against LA and lose even more traction in the standings.

* Bring the same energy level you brought against San Jose. If you play at that level you can win this game. Its that word consistency. Its easier said than done to bring that kind of game every night but that is what its going to take to be a playoff team.

* They have got to do a better job at converting on their chances. There have been long stretches of solid play this season but they haven't gotten as rewarded as they should in the goal scoring department.

* The Kings are a young squad with a decent amount of firepower. Guys like Kopitar (aah what could have been!) Frolov, Brown and Quincey lead this team in scoring with young guns like Moller, O'Sullivan and Doughty contributing. These guys have energy and talent but also make mistakes -- Jackets have to capitalize on those mistakes.

* I haven't watched the Kings much this season but if they are anything like last season they play a run and gun style and like to pot goals off the rush. Jackets have to be smart in the neutral and pick their spots to jump into the play. Form there use turnovers for counter-attacks and use their size and quickness to cycle down low to wear out their opponents.

* Special teams... yeah.. broken record.

* Looks like Jason LaBarbera gets the pipes tonight for the Kings. He's got 4W 6L 2.79GAA and .894 Save%. Jackets need to do their best to not make this guy look like a Vezina winner.

* On the flip side Mason needs to continue to play the way he has and make the big saves to keep his team in it.

* This is a game I expect the Jackets young guns to shine. Why? The Kings are a young team like the Jackets with a Calder candidate of their own in Drew Doughty... Its kind of a game within a game? Can the likes of Brass/Voracek/Mason out perform the likes of Kopitar/Doughty/Moller? That could be your game.

I'll be watching the Jackets energy level early. Can they sustain the level of play they brought in San Jose?

Also will be fun to watch the battle of Calder candidates. Drew Doughty is right up there with Brass in terms of Calder discussions. Steve Mason is also starting to creep into those conversations. Who has the better game?

This game strikes me as one of those that I can see a blow out on either side. I think the first goal is huge, especially for Columbus, and I could see things snowballing if they come out underestimating these Kings.

Puck drops at 10:30.




CHUNKBOX said...

who was drafted by us instead of KOPITAR and in what draft 05 ..?

be nice to see the differance...

or not so nice... lol

by the way this is my first official post as a member

34 m findlay ohio

radke.9 said...

Yeah I feel like the Jackets need to keep the pressure on. No letting up, because if you take nights off, you have no reason to be in the playoffs. P.S. why did you take away the name/anonymous option?


LTL said...

Hey Chunk... we drafted Brule over Kopitar... Brule wasn't expected to last to 6 but Montreal surprised everyone by taking Price and it was thought by many at the time (including myself) that we stole him a #6.

Rumor has it if Brule went to Monreal that we would have taken Kopitar.

The problem with Kopitar at the time and why he slid all the way down to #11 is that he was born and developed in Slovenia..which is not known as a hockey hotbed.. in fact I believe he's the only NHL player from that particular country.

Oh well.. hindsight 20/20 right? If I could redo any of our drafts I would have to go back and draft Phaneuf over Zherdev.

We seem to be finally catching some breaks though... Brass at #6, Jake at #7 and Mason in the 3rd round are looking pretty damn good. Of course it helps when you let guys develop *cough* MacLean *cough*.

Anyhow..speaking of Brule he just got recalled by the Oil. He's going well in the minors scoring 8g, 4a for 12p in 15g. Good for him.

Less than a 1/2 hour til the puck drops!