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Game Preview #8 - De-Throne The Kings

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The reigning champs host the Jackets as the California Swing comes to an end.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Columbus Blue Jackets at Los Angeles Kings

October 26, 2014 - 4:00 pm EDT
Staples Center - Los Angeles, California
Radio - WBNS 97.1 - TV - Fox Sports Ohio
Opponent's Blog: Jewels From The Crown

First and foremost, please note the early start time. Especially if you play for the Jackets. They've had a hard enough time showing up for the beginnings of games lately that bumping the time up six hours could only compound things.

I also forgot to note this, which is why your preview is up a mere two hours ahead of time. I have shame.

At any rate, the Jackets will be playing their third game in basically 65 hours this afternoon, which kind of sucks. The Kings haven't played since Thursday (and have only played ONE ROAD GAME SO FAR WTFFFFF), so it's all good. Nevermind the stupid scheduling of a back to back for Columbus--with travel across California in there--instead of having the back-to-back be Anaheim/LA when the team is, ya know, IN THE SAME METRO AREA. Or that the Jackets fly home--across three times zones--and play again on Tuesday. No worries, NHL schedule making sadists... we got this. Assholes.

The Jackets have had some disturbing trends of late, namely not being ready for the starts of games, taking dumb penalties because of this, and getting scored on early by being on the PK before the ice is dry. The comeback Thursday night was nice, but this team simply cannot keep playing this way, especially against good teams. (Also disturbing is how quickly the PK went south from "we haven't been scored on through five games!" to "holy God we can't stop anyone's PP!")

The Kings are, obviously, a good team.

So, let's not do it again. Please. For the sake of my eyeballs. I mean, I have to watch the Browns at the same time, don't make me bleed, guys.

In roster news, Cam Atkinson is the big name missing from today's lineup, as he suffered a facial injury in Anaheim. Some other notes include that both Curtis McElhinney and Ryan Murray got activated from IR today, with Anton Forsberg and Alexander Wennberg going back to Springfield. Murray is expected to play today. What all of this means for lines/pairs, who can say. I assume it means Marko Dano is playing. Otherwise, the Jackets simply don't have enough forwards with Atkinson and Wennberg gone, and no one added to the roster up front.

I'll take a wild stab in the dark, just like always.

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets
(4-3-0, 8 Points; 5th division, 10th conference)

Scott Hartnell Ryan Johansen Nick Foligno
Matt Calvert Artem Anisimov Jack Skille
Corey Tropp Mark Letestu Marko Dano
Adam Cracknell Michael Chaput Jared Boll
Jack Johnson David Savard
Ryan Murray James Wisniewski
Fedor Tyutin Dalton Prout
Sergei Bobrovsky
Anton Forsberg

Los Angeles Kings
(5-1-1, 11 Points; 2nd Division, 3rd Conference)

Dwight King Anze Kopitar Dustin Brown
Tanner Pearson Jeff Carter Tyler Toffoli
Andy Andreoff Jarret Stoll Justin Williams
Kyle Clifford Mike Richards Jordan Nolan
Jake Muzzin Drew Doughty
Alec Martinez Robyn Regehr
Brayden McNabb Matt Greene
Jonathan Quick
Martin Jones

Season Series

10/26/14 - Columbus at Los Angeles
02/09/15 - Los Angeles at Columbus

Head to Head Stats

Los Angeles Columbus
2.29 (23) GPG 3.00 (12)
1.43 (2) GAPG 2.86 (17)
17.4% (19) PP% 17.2% (20)
88.0% (5) PK% 85.0% (8)
Tanner Pearson, 5 G leader Ryan Johansen, 5
Tyler Toffoli, 5 A leader Scott Hartnell, 8
Jeff Carter / Tyler Toffoli, 8 Pts leader Ryan Johansen, 10
Mike Richards, 23 PIM leader Jared Boll, 16
5-1-0 Home/Road 2-2-0
5-1-1 Last 10 4-3-0
10/23 vs. Buffalo, W 2-0 Last Game 10/24 @ Anaheim, L 4-1