If you’d like to catch up on today’s news and notes, please check out my notebook from LAKings.com…
The Blue Jackets, as coached by Ken Hitchcock, haven’t always been good, but they’ve always been pretty good against the Kings. This will be Hitchcock’s 14th game against the Kings as Columbus coach, and so far he has a 7-5-1 record against L.A.
As noted yesterday, Terry Murray and Hitchcock have a history, and there are few secrets between the two coaches. Murray’s Kings have a 3-3 record against Hitchcock’s Blue Jackets. This season, the Kings lost 4-1 at Columbus and beat the Blue Jackets 6-2 at Staples Center. Murray had no hesitation in describing the kind of game he expects tonight.
MURRAY: “It’s a demanding game, a hard game. He wants everyone to finish, and there’s a bit of a bulls-eye put on several players on the other team. You’ve got to be ready to compete. Every play is important. Board battle, faceoff, every drive you have to battle for your ice and you have to make sure you’re ready to compete in your D-zone, in front of your net, because they have some guys who have a pretty good attitude about getting there. If you’re not ready to take that challenge, it looks like you’re getting pushed aside easy. I think our attitude is better. We have improved in that area. We still have areas to grow there, but we have more of a playoff mentality today than at this time last year.”