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Game #8 CBJ vs Los Angeles

October 27, 2006

The Kings roll into town tonight to give the Jackets the first of two games in consecutive nights.  I expect the game to be the typical high scoring affair we’ve come to see in past matches between these two clubs.  No less than three times have the Kings given Blue Jackets’ goaltenders some severe sunburn, winning 7-1, 7-1, and 8-2 over the course of the last five seasons.  I’ve had the misfortune to attend two of those games.  Mrs. EOB and I are thinking about going tonight, but I’m not sure yet.

Blue Jackets: With three days rest, will the Blue Jackets be able to muster enough effort to win tonight?  Or even enough to score a goal?  During the Monday night game against San Jose, the fans were letting the team have it as more boos graced the soundtrack than cheers.  If the team does not improve tonight, I would not be surprised to see attendance numbers slack considerably until the team gets moving in the right direction.

Kings: Losers of seven of their last eight, the Kings are probably a bit excited to have a contest with another struggling club.  Talented rookie Anze Kopitar will look to add to his point total against a CBJ defense that’s had trouble stopping much lately.

Kings rookie C Anze Kopitar

Kings center Anze Kopitar (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Getty Images)

Hometown press

Out of town press

  • I won’t link to the LA Times article since it will require registration after today, but in their Kings tonight feature previewing the game you can find the following comments from writer Chris Foster:
  • “Just in time, the patsy-esque Blue Jackets come up on the schedule”
  • “The Blue Jackets, too, are off to a terrible start but who in Columbus notices with Ohio State ranked No. 1…?”

Fearless EOB Prediction:  The fun thing about me making predictions is that they’re almost guaranteed to be wrong.  So I’ll pick the Kings to win big.  5-1 LA.

In reality, it sounds like the Jackets are changing up their strategy (see the simpler approach article above from the Dispatch) and will rely more on the dump-in and hard forecheck.  Danny Fritsche will be back in action, and he should be able to bang around a bit in this style of play. 

I still think that while this style of offensive zone entry suits the Malhotra and Svitov lines very well, that the more skilled lines will be initially hurt by this.  Nash and Zherdev are not known for their excellent positional play, and it will take them some time to properly execute the forecheck.  That might be a good thing.  They’ve been able to slide by with questionable offensive positioning because of their ability to make great things happen from disadvantageous places.  Perhaps by creating more accountability, once the team gets the monkey off it’s back the creativity will be complimented by good fundamentals.

I think it will probably be a close game, decided by one goal.  I’ll still go with LA.

If we decide to head down, I hope to see a competitive game.

Good luck to the Tigers, tonight.

Go Jackets!

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