The Los Angeles Kings had a huge amount of time and space in their domination of the Columbus Blue Jackets last night. All six goals were scored by different players to get their game back on track so as not to alarm its fan base.
Wayne Simmonds started out the tally as he smoked a Blue Jackets defender and Steve Mason for the first goal of the night. This opened the floodgates that forced Mason to the bench and our old pal Mathieu Garon to take to the pipes. I had a feeling it was going to be a good game when Drew Doughty was milling around the 4-on-4 with purpose. The pass he received from Michael Handzus was smooth on the backhand and Doughty absolutely killed it. When was the door closed on the Blue Jackets? Probably after Alexander Frolov's goal making it 4-0 with almost five minutes left in the first period. Sorry Blue Jackets, but the Kings needed to come back with a statement, you just happened to be the victim of unfortunate circumstances.
When one has time and space, a great luxury is presented during games, which is that the Kings got an opportunity to practice different scenarios that are not usually applied. The most blatant example, one Jim Fox immediately took note of, was on the power play when Anze Kopitar took a spot on the other half wall instead of his usual spot. I was actually happy to see him, not exactly struggle with the new position, but looking a bit odd on that side because that gives the Kings' top player a new aspect of his own game to focus on. I only see this as a positive.
On the surface, I'm not sure which stat I'm happier with, the fact the Kings held Columbus to 11 shots or that the Kings were 64% in the face off circle. It's easy to love a winning team, and it's just as easy to get your heart broken by the same team when they falter. In watching their efforts explode back to normal, I'm looking forward to more happy days with the Kings.