Jackets' sting remains as Kings drop third straight

Columbus Blue Jackets' Mathieu Roy, right, and Los Angeles Kings' Dustin Brown collide during the first period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Oct. 17, 2009, in Columbus, Ohio.Game 8: Blue Jackets 4, Kings 1

You know what the KIngs and my household have in common? Flu-like symptoms...

The Kings dropped their third straight game on this road trip, and all the good feeling of hope that had briefly run throughout the Kingdom is now replaced by groans and facepalms.

The Kings can't score. And because they're struggling in that area, they are overcompensating, causing the rest of the system to break down.

Add to that several players are being reported down with the flu and the game on the ice isn't worth paying for. Thankfully, Kings fans haven't had to be subjected to this three-game losing streak in Staples. IT's much nicer when the team wins...

Hammond has a very interesting breakdown, comparing the numbers from the first 8 games of this season from the first 8 games of last season. Basically, it's showing all the hard workof installing a defensive first system has been completely abandoned this season. Troubling but telling.

My opinion is this: last season Terry Murray didn't know what he had in goal, so he installed the five dots in training camp and started preaching defensive awareness to the players. Then Jonny Quick rose to the occasion, and granned the reins of the starting role.

This season, figuring that Quick was ready to handle more responsibilty, and allowed the team to unfurl their offensive capabilities. The result? Lower defensive numbers this season, with a boost offensively.

It is early, but the team better figure out how to get it down on both sides of the ice and soon. It would suck to have all that time wasted learning how to be defensively sound go out the window.

•AP: Blue Jackets hold off Kings
“I’m not very happy about the game—not very happy,” said Los Angeles coach Terry Murray, who was particularly upset with how the Jackets got their first goal. “We need to check better and make better decisions with the puck.”
• Yahoo!: Team report
Aside from goaltending, no single issue seemed likely to have more of an impact on the Kings' success or failure this season than secondary scoring.
• LAKings.com: Kings lose to Columbus 4-1
Many of the Kings felt bad before Saturday night’s game. After the game, they all did.
They said it
That’s two straight games that we’ve blown leads. We come out hard and then somehow we lose it. We lose our structure and we lose what has given us success, what has given us those leads." – Matt Greene, alternate/assistant captain
Around the Kingdom

• The Royal Half: A Sick Loss
 One aspect of the Los Angeles Kings game that I'm not digging right now is the placement of forward Justin Williams on point during the powerplay. I haven't really seen what the upside of this move is quite yet.
• Purple Crushed Velvet: Kings 1, BJs 4: so disappointing
After being on a 4 game winning streak they've now dropped 3 consecutive games:  passes look sloppy, opportunities are squandered, special teams aren't performing and faceoffs aren't being won.
• Kings Kool-Aid: How many times have the Kings been at .500 after 8 games, and how many of those teams make the playoffs?
Eight times. Half of them make it.
• Caligiuri's Corner: One Flu Over the Cuckoo's Nest
If the truth be told, of a twenty-three man roster, at least a dozen players are experiencing one or two symptoms of various infections on a day-to-day basis. But, if Mr. Hypothetical, Rich Hammond, reports on something – it must be true. (ED. note: a playful dig by Joe to the newbie...)
From across the aisle, the Columbus viewpoint

• Columbus Dispatch: Jackets extend their hottest start
Los Angeles, playing for the third time in four nights (all losses), seemed to run out of gas in the third period. Two well-timed goals by the Blue Jackets, no doubt, helped zap some of the Kings' energy.
• The Cannon: Game 6 Recap: King Me
For the first time in our history I am watching games assuming we are going to win. About 10 minutes in I thought we were clearly the better team and I knew we'd pull it out. This is new uncharted territory for me. For the next 8 years we might be watching games different.
• Puck-rakers: Game. no. 6
With 46.4 seconds remaining in the period, Jason Chimera scored to tie the game. ... It was a Kings-crushing goal.
Peeping the dailies

<br/><a href="http://video.msn.com/video.aspx?mkt=en-US&brand=foxsports&vid=8231babd-88db-4257-845b-d2a47c3ce376" target="_new" title="Kings Report: Smyth's impact">Video: Kings Report: Smyth's impact</a>

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