For info on the BJs check out Bethany's Hockey Rants. Although, if the Kings miraculously pull out a win, don't expect her to provide a full blown game analysis. For the second consecutive game I'll be providing a pseudo-live-blog/game diary. But I must say, I don't exactly enjoy doing these and I don't know how the -ookies manage to do these for almost every single Devils game. So check back just before the puck drops and at each intermission for my running game analysis and quips of the game. GO KINGS!
Bob and Jim talk about the return of Cloutier. They emphasize that Cloutier's role is that of the backup goaltender. Backup. Alright guys, I sure hope so. They also talk about the improved play of Jack Johnson. I agree with them that Jack has been more comfortable as of late, especially with Rob Blake out of the lineup. Apparently the BJs have had recent goal scoring troubles: only 9 goals in the last 5 games. Hmmm, hopefully that'll continue today.
20:00 Cloutier and his old school helmet. I'm so fucking nervous!!
19:17 Oh SNAP! 43 seconds into the game and we're up 1-0!!! The review of this goal is killing me...either because I've had too much coffee and no food (ok, yeah, I just woke up, lay off me!) or because I desperately want this goal to count. Crow looks like he's going to piss his pants. YES! IT'S A GOOOOOOAAAALLLL!
I admit that goal was U-G-L-Y. However, we crashed the net which is exactly what we needed to do, something Columbus did in the December game that paid off for them. Kopi got the goal, assisted by Cammy and Brown. So maybe those three will be playing together today...so much for Fro and Kopi continuing their awesomeness together.
17:24 Columbus rocketed one off the post and the arena sounded the horn. Stupid Nationwide Arena...Cloutier had one hell of a rebound on the initial shot, who has he been taking lessons from, Aubin?
14:27 BJs tie it up on the power play. Cloots was screened and could hardly see the incoming shot. The Kings need to do a better job of clearing the front and giving Cloots a better view of the shot. The nearby Kings Dman had one guy in front and one behind him and didn't do anything to clear either of them from the front.
Fucktard, Stuart is out, not because of two bruised hands thanks to Detroit, but because he's under the weather. And who is on the blueline to replace him? Kevin "I should be an AHL-career player" Dallman.
10:18 It looks like the Kings are on the penalty kill...that's not promising. How in the world is Columbus able to keep it in our end for this long? The Kings really need a better blueline because Preissing is just not doing it for me. Neither is Dallman. Nor Modry, although he hasn't really been on my shit list this year...it's just that he's old and average.
9:03 I couldn't figure out why Army shot the living crap out of the puck from that close in but Leclaire gave up the most ridiculous rebound and I thought Fro was going to capitalize on it but Leclaire was able to snatch it up. Lucky bastard.
6:40 Cloots went behind the net to play the puck and I instantly thought, "Don't fall down"
5:59 Why is Ivanans playing with Kopi and Cammy?? And this was the lineup on the faceoff...
3:56 Cloutier made a huge save! Oh wow, the Kings really needed that. I swear, the Kings need to escape the first without allowing another goal.
At several points during the first it looked like Columbus had an extra attacker. It seems like Columbus is able to skate easily into the Kings zone without encountering much opposition. Once in the Kings zone they effectively cycle the puck and the Kings can't even get a body on a BJ to knock him off the puck nor can they get a stick on the puck to intercept a pass and clear the zone. The first period was fast and the Kings were keeping up with Columbus but I'm worried that if this pace continues the Kings will be completely worn out in the third. They need to get back on the scoreboard in the second and re-establish their lead. And since their PK hasn't been very effective in the past two games they need to limit the penalities they take. This is turning out to be a good game to watch.
17:08 Man, these line combinations are killing me. First, it was Kopi, Brown, and Cammy to start the second. Then Fro, Handzus, and Calder. Then Brown, Boyle, and Moulson. Then just before play was stopped Ivanans had replaced Brown....What is Crow doing?
13:34 So Handzu, Calder, and Giuliano were on a line together, a combo I like seeing if Giuliano isn't going to be with Moulson and Boyle.
This period has seen a lot more back and forth play. While Columbus seemed to dominate the first, I say the Kings are dominating this period so far. A couple times in this period the Kings are quickly dumping the puck back into Columbus' end just as the forwards are touching up. This allows the Kings the keep it in the offensive zone and not allow the BJs to break up the play past the blueline and counter into the Kings end. In fact, I think at this point Columbus has only one shot on goal in the second.
11:53 The Kings are on their second power play of the day. I just can't get over how aggressive Columbus is on the PK. It's almost like the Kings should just forget about drawing penalties because they've been playing better at even strength.
10:58 Wooooaaaah, Kopi scored his second of the night!! This was the first opportunity on the power play and the Kings buried it. Leclaire came out far to meet O'Sullivan who fired it on net and Kopi made Leclaire pay for allowing such a huge rebound. Nice job guys. Well done.
5:42 Not much has happened since the Kings scored. The BJs are applying more pressure and have a couple more shots on net, although nothing of much quality. The game is now shifting in Columbus's favor as they are keeping it in the Kings' defensive end and the Kings continually have difficulty clearing their zone. Rick Nash's line had the best opportunity of the second period for his team but he shot the puck wide.
5:05 Oh damn, Chimera has one hell of a black eye!
4:05 Oh crappity-crap-crap, the Kings will be two men short for a full minute. They jumped the gun on aiming for short-hand opportunity and got caught with too many men on the ice.
3:04 Oh fuck. The game is tied 2-2. I thought the Kings were going to be able to clear the zone but somehow the BJs kept it in and Nash netted the tying goal. Thankfully the goal came right as the first penalty ended so at least the Kings aren't still down a man.
Cloutier actually had a couple of good saves on the the penalty kill and it's unfortunate that he couldn't have saved Nash's chance.
1:20 YES! Kings goal!! Oh, SHIT! O'Sullivan totally kicked that one in. There is no way that goal is going to count. The goal is still under review but I'm not holding my breath.
Yep...no goal. Whatever. I agree. So do Bob and Jim. The slow motion replay definitely showed the "forward kicking motion".
This game is pretty even. Both teams have had their scoring opportunities and both teams have had their "oh shit" moments. The Kings appeared to try to slow things down after their second goal and it backfired on them as they got caught defending in their end for much of the second half of the period. Columbus was able to gain some momentum, especially during their power plays, and challenge the Kings for the lead.
Damn, Bob just threw out the stat that the attendance at Columbus averages just over 14,000 per game.
16:10 Cammy almost scored with his signature move, shooting with one knee down. He does draw a penalty, so we'll see if the Kings can take advantage.
14:09 Cammy had another great shot this time from the point with loads of time and space. That guy needs a goal! Unfortunately the Kings can't take the lead...no wonder Columbus is ranked at the top of league in penalty killing.
12:55 AGAIN, the Kings are caught in their own end. Luckily the Kings were able to limit the scoring chances from Columbus but spending a lot of time in the Kings end is not what this team needs.
11:36 Fuckin' Dallman...do we need to take a penalty? No! That penalty was not necessary, yet another result of the Kings spending too much time in their own end and not being able to clear it out! C'mon guys, get it together.
9:29 Holy hell, did the Kings just kill off that penalty? I think my heart stopped about three times during the 2 minute frenzy. You would have thought that was a 4-3 man advantage. Columbus is really good at maintaining a quick pace...do they ever play slow, boring games?
Cloutier is one game below 0.500 in his career. Just thought I'd put that out there.
6:23 You know who really needs to be left off the Kings roster come next fall? Kevin Dallman.
0:00 I never thought I'd be saying this today but Cloutier is sending this game to OT. Kopi had a huge hand in it as well when he stopped the puck right on the goal line, but Cloutier kept his cool and came up with some unbelievable stops within the last 4 minutes.
4:23 Kings start OT with the upperhand as Cammy really took it to Columbus.
3:57 Kopi and Fro started the second line in OT....I love those two together, just like I love it when Locke and Ben are in a scene together. Such chemistry.
2:27 I feel like I just downed 12 shots of espresso. This OT is insane.
1:44 Ohhhh, I thought Cloutier was going to give a BJ a strong right hand...it's good to see some intensity. He's keeping the team in the game...
1:19 3 on 3. Note to Cammy: use your teammates, sometimes (most of the time) you can't do everything by yourself.
0:33.1 Modry, were you even trying on that shot? You need to rip it!!
0:00 Aaaaaahhhh, a shootout....
This is one of those moments where I would be very happy to see this game end right now. Both teams deserve one point and that's it. Columbus dominated the end of the third period and the Kings had the better chances in overtime. Neither team now deserves to lose the game in a shootout. Regardless, this game was actually really good. I expected it to be fast and it definitely was, which made doing this game diary all the more difficult. I don't even know if Cloutier has won a shootout before...here we go.
BJ#1: shoots it wide
Cammy: what was that!?
BJ#2 (Nash): goal...damn, I hate you...but you're still a cutie.
Brownie: GOOAAAL!!! totally faked Leclaire and put it up top.
BJ#3 (Peca): Cloutier with the save!!!
Kopitar for the win: denied!
BJ#4: Cloots all the way...
Paht-ty: and it's a goal!!! So he is the hero with the game winner.
Even though they are an opponent, I do hope Columbus makes the playoffs because they're not that bad of a team. I can definitely see upset the favorites and since I don't have anything against Columbus it would be good to see them go far in the playoffs. Anyhoo, back to the game. Cloutier looked good in this game. He made the saves that he needed to. No soft goals, no mental breakdowns. Both Columbus goals came on the power play and I wouldn't place Cloots at fault for either. The Kings kept up with the pace set by Columbus and didn't show any signs of fatigue, something I feared before the start of the game. Great game guys!