The good news is that the LA Kings were able to shake off the horrid performance they turned in a couple of days ago in Anaheim and come out after Tuesday night with a much-needed victory. The bad news is that it was against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
All prodding aside of a team whose best player has a career plus-minus rating of -88 (miss you JMFJ!), it was still nice to see the Kings pick up two points on the road, even though if it was not in as dominant of form as many would have hoped.
Who are we kidding, going into tonight many fans (myself possibly included) were only a loss to the Blue Jackets away from throwing in the towel, mashing the panic button, and calling for Darryl Sutter and Dean Lombardi’s heads on a platter. But to the relief of the Kings and their faithful, Los Angeles was able to erase a 1st period deficit with three tallies in the second frame to leave Ohio with a 4-2 victory in their second game of a five-game road trip.
Slava Voynov continued his impressive play by burying the game winner at the halfway mark of the second with a cannon that beat Columbus goalie Steve Mason clean to the glove side. Mike Richards finally got off the scoring schnied as he earned his first of the year 13:44 into the third period as he picked up a greasy rebound in the paint to add all the insurance LA needed to protect the victory.
Richards’ goal completed his Gordie Howe hat-trick as he notched an assist earlier on Jeff Carter’s second period goal and engaged in some extra-curricular activities with Brandon Dubinsky as well. The problem with the new assistant-captain so far this season has never been his physicality- he has shown time and time again he is willing to lay the body on anyone as well as drop the gloves if he is called upon- but his lackluster offensive production. Hopefully Tuesday’s two-point affair can help spark more of the same from Richards.
Jonathan Quick was able to shake off the ghosts of his horrendous start against the Ducks so far as he was able to stop 18 of 20 Columbus shots to secure the win, yet he is still missing the confidence and swagger from his game that stymied the rest of the NHL last Spring. His mental resolve to not allow one bad game snowball into two is a good sign though, and I remain confident that the reigning Conn Smythe winner will return to his stellar ways soon.
Another plus to take from Tuesday is the increased production from the top lines. In addition to Richards’ two-point game: Kopitar, Carter, Brown, Gagne, and Doughty all logged points on the score sheet. But leading the way was Justin Williams who notched three assists and was a plus-3 on the night. Steady offensive contributions from these guys will go a long way towards salvaging the rough start to the season for the Kings.
Looking forward the Kings head to the dirty south and take on Nashville on Thursday, before heading into their first back-to-back series of games starting on Sunday, where they travel to Detroit and St. Louis, who if I remember correctly might have a beef with the defending champions. Now expecting LA to sweep these three games might seem a little unrealistic, they certainly cannot afford to go 0 and 3. Here’s hoping the black and white can conjure up a little of their road magic they rode in the playoffs, they might need it considering six of their next seven games are away from Staples.
But at the end of the day two points is two points, and hopefully the Kings can snatch another two out of the hands of Mr. Carrie Underwood on Thursday in country country.
Go Kings Go
P.S.- A while back to my amazement we had our first comment ever (we are almost like a real blog now!) which read:
Submitted on 2013/01/25 at 10:03 pm
I would like to know how much impact the ‘bash’ has on this blog.
While he has yet to leave his mark in writing on this forum, the Bash Man has recently been in contact with the legend himself: one Bob Miller. It just so happens that for a school project he is taking on the task of interviewing Bob and I’m hoping he will share this process with the blog once it is completed.
And I know I am as shocked as anyone else- who knew there were actually assignments and classes in Hawaii?
Regardless stay tuned for more news about Bash and Bob.