We’re live from the Nationwide Arena as the Columbus Blue Jackets take on the
Ontario Reign Los Angeles Kings. All jokes aside, this Kings team is far different from the team that capitalized on bad special teams play by Columbus at Staples Center on November 3rd and wound up cruising to a 4-1 win. Good times.
For those of you who don’t follow the pre-season, the Kings played the Kings in Ontario, California in the first fake game of the 2018-19 season. Each Kings team—aptly called “Team Robitaille” and “Team Blake”—was mixed with handfuls of Reign players and they skated against each other, youth soccer style, replete with a running clock. Here are the the September 16 lineups:
Those teams looked eerily similar to tonight’s lineup, don’t you think?:
Iafallo – Kopitar – Brown
Leipsic – Carter – Luff
Scherbak – Kempe – Toffoli
Wagner – Amadio – Thompson
Fantenberg – Doughty
Muzzin – LaDue
Forbort – Walker
Quick in goal.
Meanwhile the Blue Jackets counter with their NHL lineup:
Panarin – Dubois – Atkinson
Foligno – Jenner – Bjorkstrand
Sedlak – Wennberg – Duclair
Dubinsky – Nash – Hannikainen
Murray – Jones
Nutivaara – Savard
Werenski – Harrington
Bobrovsky in goal.
* - played November 3rd
There’s nobody in Columbus. Literally fifty per cent of the seats are empty. You’d think the Blue Jackets were playing the worst team in the league.
Kings 1. Blue Jackets 0.
Dustin Brown with an opportunistic backhanded goal less than four minutes in! That’s his team leading ninth goal of the season. Sergei Bobrovsky looked none too good on that one. You know, I realize I’m a Willie D. hater, but right after the Kings scored, the camera zoomed in on Columbus coach John Tortorella and he looked like he was going to rip someone’s larynx out. That’s the kind of fire you want from your coach. I guarantee you if the Kings give up a weak goal tonight, the interim coach will give us the Obligatory Lost Willie Desjardins Look.
Kings 1. Blue Jackets 1.
Well, that lead didn’t last long…96 seconds to be exact. Adrian Kempe and Paul LaDue collide in front of the net leaving an easy one for Lukas Sedlak. Of course, it’s his first goal of the season. That’s so Kings.
Famous last words from Jim, “The Kings are trying to sort it out in front of the net…” That right there is the symbolic quote of the season. There’s no sorting out this mess. To top it all off, we have to hear that inane cannon shot after the goal followed by the Obligatory Lost Willie Desjardins Look.
Coffee is for Closers
No java for Alex Iafallo tonight. He misses an empty net, Andreoff-style.
Blue Jackets 2. Kings 1.
Another cannon shot is rung. It’s starting to sound like the “Hunger Games” in there. Future King Artemi Panarin breaks a five-game goalless streak as Dubois floats a beauty through Paul LaDue and the crease. Remember six-and-a-half minutes ago when the Kings led 1-0? Yeah, me too. The way these Kings score, this might be game over.
Team Chemistry? What’s that you say?
It’s musical D-pairings now:
Doughty – Forbort
Fantenberg – Walker
Muzzin – LaDue
If Willie D. were a chemist, the lab would explode every time.
Drew is Back!
Hits galore from number 8, all the while running his mouth and smiling. He’s the best part of any game.
End of Period.
Shots: Blue Jackets 12. Kings 8.
Virtually no real Kings scoring chances in that period except for the Brownie goal.
Columbus is super eager to make it 3-1, blowing the horn after a flurry of shots. Alas, no goal. Not even close. In Quick we trust.
Dubois rings the iron. Puck stays out. No goal horn this time. In goal posts we trust.
Snake Bitten: The 13th Sequel.
Toffoli can’t buy a goal for the 14th straight game. First, missing a wide-open net Iafallo-style and then half-fanning on a one-timer. Frustrations are high. Geez, I’m really going to miss you in Los Angeles, Tyler.
Two in Twenty
Panarin again. This time off the biggest rebound I’ve seen since game five of the 2014 Stanley Cup Final. Blue Jackets 3. Kings 1.
Josh Anderson strikes just 20 seconds after the Panarin goal. Anderson with 13 goals on the season. Thirteen! Kings body language says it all after four unanswered goals by Columbus. Blue Jackets 4. Kings 1. More cannon shots. Someone needs to volunteer as a Tribute.
End of Period.
Shots: Blue Jackets 28. Kings 20.
End of Game.
Shots: Blue Jackets 41. Kings 30.
The Kings fall to 0-2-1 on the road trip, with only five goals scored in the three contests. Special teams failed the Kings once again as they gave up a power-play goal and failed three times on their own man advantage. The trading freeze goes into effect December 20th. There will be a lot of relieved players until 2019.
NEXT: The Pittsburgh Penguins host the Kings on Saturday.
A RELAXING WIN: