Assuming that the Jackets can get to the Arena through L.A. traffic, here are some things to watch for:
Attitude — CBJ attitude needs to be the same as in SJ — come out hard, put lots of pucks on net, and don’t give LA a chance to breathe. LaBarbera will likely start, as he came in and allowed only one goal in 2 periods of work against Edmonton. Can’t afford any sort of emotional hangover from one that got away.
Continuous Effort–LA was down 3 – 0 in the first period to Edmonton, but came back to tie it at 4 – 4. We need 60 minutes of hockey. More brutally stated, we need to put our feet on their collective throats and keep them there.
Youth Will Be Served — The Kings have some young players to showcase, and play an uptempo game. This can play into the hands of the Goat line. Look for Russell and Novotny (maybe Wilson too???) to be facilitators of up tempo play.
Stay Steady In Goal — Mason needs to be large, both literally and figuratively. Follow the Hitchcock recipe for starting scoring from the back end.
People To Watch — For LA, watch Tom Preissing, who was a healthy scratch for them last game, and has been mentioned in trade rumors with the CBJ. On our side, if Wilson plays, let’s see how this noble experiment works. Watch Tyutin and Russell on the PP — they want to demonstrate that they are the answer to our woes.
Calling anything a “must win” at this point in the season is far fetched, but we need to show that we can win the games we should, and need to establish some road momentum. 4 Points on this trip, on top of a solid SJ effort, would be outstanding.
If you aren’t all still in bed after staying up to watch this one, remember the JacketBackers game watching party tomorrow at the Garage Bar on Vine Street! Go Jackets!!!!!1