Here’s one more before dinner. More later… We got a chance to catch Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock after the Blue Jackets practiced today. His team is off to a 4-1 start, with 14 goals scored and 11 goals against. Here’s what Hitchcock said about the Kings…
HITCHCOCK: “They’re a very organized team, and they’re very structurally sound. I know Terry (Murray) well, and they play exactly the same way we do. So, to me, this is just a complete mirror image of each other. They play the same system the same way, with the same style. They have a really big hockey club, especially through the middle of the ice. They’ve got good structure on all their lines and they’re going to be a real force all year.
“It’s going to be hard to play against this team all year, because there’s just no space on the ice, there’s no room to make plays. You’re going to have to earn your space, and if you’re not prepared to, they’re going to beat a lot of good teams because of it.’’
(on his thoughts about the keys to the game…)
HITCHCOCK: “I just think it’s tempo. Both teams play at a very high tempo, so we’ll see. I’ve watched L.A. play the last three games, and even the games they lose, for long stretches they’re outplaying the opposition in a big way. I think our players will be ready. We’ve been talking about them for two days. All of our players have been watching. They were all watching the game last night, so they know what we’re up against. We know how tough the game is going to be. We’ll figure it out.’’