Monday, March 8, 2010

Preview of Game 66: Los Angeles Kings

Yesterday, Tom Reed (@tomba19 on Twitter) tweeted that IHC Noel was "mulling [over] lineup changes" and that Juice (no ambiguity with that now that Jurcina is gone) would be questionable for tonight's game against the Kings, who are 1-2 since the end of the Olympic break, including a 4-2 loss on Saturday against the Montreal Canadiens. Honestly, I get a little bit excited when there is the possibility of Huselius being scratched. I feel like it is good for him. But this time? This time, I was worried. The Blue Jackets already have Paetsch playing as a forward. Murray was on the second line the other night. Now Noel is going to have to do something about Huselius potentially being out of the line up? At least Brassard is back, hot off the grill, you might say...

Here's a visual projected line-up for tonight (Blue Jackets only, sorry Kings!):

Wait, what? Is that Andrew Murray on the top line? Yes, yes it is. Ugh.

I love this line. I'd prefer to see Brassard centering the top line, although with this being his first game back, I understand this choice. And with Andrew Murray on top line, it is probably a wise decision to have someone like Vermette there, who perhaps makes egregious mistakes less often more consistently than Brassard.

Here I see another lack of effort from the Blue Jackets. Couldn't even photoshop a Blue Jackets jersey onto Chris Clark!

Versatility is a good thing, but there must be a reason that Paetsch only played 11 games in Buffalo. I don't think it was because they were overflowing with talent. Will we ever see him play defense this year (beside at practice)?

Noel must have liked the big man-little man combination of Jurcina and Russell. Hopefully Commodore continues his non-terrible performance from last game.

The usual.

This is, of course, my personal favorite pairing. Hoping to see a strong performance from these two, and more commitment from Methot, especially when he attempts to block shots.

The man that took the Blue Jackets to the playoffs. "Maseiah". People go to "Masonwide". He "Mase's" people. He stood tall against a huge barrage of pucks in the most recent loss, to the Sharks. Hoping that Mason can keep his composure tonight.

The Kings are expected to start the USA Olympic team's third-line goaltender, Jonathan Quick.

Former Jacket Fredrik Modin is expected to play on the third line with Michal Handzus and Wayne Simmonds.

This game is at 10:30. I am not sure I will be able to stay awake through all of it as I'm busy with school this week, but I will try. Might be hard with Murray on the top line. It isn't that I don't appreciate Murray, I do... but is the state of the team such that he is one of the top forwards? It shouldn't be.

Hey, at least the game is in HD!


  1. While I am shocked at the Andrew Murray promotion, Noel is probably playing the "hot hand." Maybe moving Murray from center to winger has drastically improved his game...? I think Umberger would have been a better choice on the top line, but I'd hate to break up the chemistry of the 18-16-93 line.

    Hopefully, if Commodore does revert back to his terrible performances, Paetsch can easily make the transition from winger to d-man mid-game. Noel can double shift Clark/Umberger/Nash on LW to make up for the 4th line absence.

    Good read! :)

  2. I'm trying to understand the motivation for the Murray promotion. Well, not a promotion per se, but the promotion to the first line.

    As a baseline, I'm presuming that Murray's not getting paired with Nash because of his talent. Is (interim) head coach Claude trying to send a message about playing with heart? Does Claude think that he's got a better shot at scoring badly needed goals with Murray up there?

    I'm not begrudging Murray his shot and hope he makes the best of it. It's just baffling, for an interim coach to make such a move. Leave it to Claude, he's coaching as if he has the gig for the long haul. For his sake, I hope the move pays off.


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