When you’re the eighth seed in the playoffs in either conference, being able to win on the road is something you must be able to do to move on. The Los Angeles Kings have found a way to not just be good at winning away from Staples Center, they’ve perfected it.
In their six road wins, the Kings are outscoring their home-ice advantaged opponents 22-10. It doesn’t take a math whiz to figure out scoring twice as many goals as your rival means you’re doing pretty darn well.
L.A. is averaging better than 3.5 goals per game and with how the playoffs have gone this year is usually more than cozy enough get you the win. Being able to put that many goals on the board against regular season stalwarts like Roberto Luongo, Brian Elliott and Mike Smith is impressive. Having Jonathan Quick on the Kings’ side to make it all stand up is why L.A. is making things look relatively simple.
GM says Blue Jackets are ‘off the rails’ right now
Apparently Blue Jackets management is a little shaken by the second 0-3-0 start in franchise history, however.
Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen shared his shock and dismay with the Columbus Post-Dispatch on Tuesday.
“I’m surprised how, in just five days, we’ve gone from a very confident group to something that’s the opposite of that,” Kekalainen told The Dispatch on Tuesday. “Our confidence, our game … it’s off the rails right now.
Maybe losing to the Buffalo Sabres stings a little bit extra?
Kekalainen said “there’s no excuse for how we played in Buffalo,” pointing out that every team in the NHL is a “good team.”
Indeed, just about every squad boasts some dangerous weapons if they catch an opponent sleeping.
The Post-Dispatch goes deeper on Columbus’ recent history of stumbling out of the gate, but consider the foreboding stretch coming up.
Next four games: Three out of four at home Eight games following that: Seven out of eight on the road.
As you can see, winter is coming for Columbus, so they best get things together. All things considered, this is the right time for a wake-up call.
For bonus chuckles, here’s a photo of Kekalainen on a railing.
He entered the building considerably later than usual, but his presence at least opened the door for the possibility of No. 8 suiting up against the San Jose Sharks.
Instead, the Capitals will face the hot-starting Sharks without Ovechkin (personal reasons) and Nicklas Backstrom (injury).
That’s a tall order, yet it’s also an opportunity for Barry Trotz to prove his system is a difference-maker … and that the Capitals have the young players to take up the mantle when the big stars are out
This is how Washington’s forward lines may look tonight:
With Ovechkin out, Caps lines look like this: