Many times this year, we've watched the Jackets start a game on their heels, waiting for things to happen instead of attacking. Once in awhile it would be just the opposite. The first 12 minutes of the game couldn't have been better. It looked like nothing could go wrong. Passing was crisp, shots were on net from all angles (they had an 11-1 shot advantage half way through the first), checks were being finished. Things were rosy.
Then out of nowhere, the Kings go up 1-0 on a hard shot from the point that deflected down low. Then it felt like everything had gone quiet. The energy, and spirit, gone. How could it be that with two and a half periods to go, the game felt like it was over? The Jackets pushed L.A. to the brink, but L.A. pushed back, and we couldn't handle it.
The second period started the way the first ended, slow and agonizing. The most memorable thing to happen in the second was Jared Boll clobbering Peter Harrold. Anze Kopitar scored his 100th career goal and made it 2-0 late in the period. To think, we could've drafted him in 2005. Instead, we took Gilbert Brule. Yeah.
With a full 20:00 to go there was still a glimmer of hope to get back into this game but it didn't take long for the Kings to extend their lead with a garbage goal in front of the net. Ryan Smyth poked in a centering feed on the back end of the net.
I thought the defense did a horrible job of clearing people out of the crease and away from Mason. Hejda played like crap. He was in Kopitar's face for the second goal, and in the crease for Smyth's goal. He looked completely useless on those plays. Methot wasn't noticable in his first game in awhile. Hey guys, Russ can't be the only star back there, step it up!
Kopitar scored his 2nd and 101st career at the end of a 5-on-3 PP. Antoine Vermette scored on a shot that looked like it bounced off a King defenseman, thus beating the shutout. There was just no answer for Jonathan Quick. I've seen it before, he takes a ton of shots and just somehow stops everything from getting by, almost Turco-esque. If anyone says "He's living up to his name" again, I might break something.
The PP and struggled going 0-for-3. Going 0-3 on the PP is unacceptable. Yes, Stralman is the QB but there are a lot of guys who should be able to convert if he's unavailable. The PK did all it could to hold off Los Angeles on a 5-on-3
Mancrush: The fans. Anyone that lives within earshot of Columbus knows winning is expected, a way of life if you will, and losing is unacceptable. I think the everyone has been more patient when it comes to the Jackets because they're only one of two pro teams in town and we're very loyal. Its what makes us, us.
Doghouse: Rick Nash. Two words: One shot.
Up next: Saturday night @ St. Louis.