It was pointed out, last night, that each of the three Kings-Blue Jackets games so far has had a theme. The first was interim coach John Stevens’ first win. The second was Darryl Sutter first regulation loss. The third was “Clockgate.’’ Tonight’s subplot is easy. It’s Jeff Carter and Jack Johnson facing their respective former teams. Carter’s return to Columbus got covered yesterday, in this post, and today The Columbus Dispatch did a nice piece on Johnson settling in with the Blue Jackets. Johnson said, “I’ve got a lot of guys on the (Kings) who’ll probably be lifelong friends, but we’re no longer teammates. They’re the enemy (tonight).’’
Incidentally, the Blue Jackets’ official Twitter site had an item today saying that fans with Carter No. 7 jerseys can have the nameplate changed to “Johnson,” free of charge before the end of the first period tonight. Johnson has one goal and two assists [corrected] in five games with the Blue Jackets. His replacement with the Kings, Slava Voynov, has three assists in five games. Sutter was asked about filling the void left by Johnson.
SUTTER: “Actually, we added a good one in Slava Voynov. I think Dean (Lombardi), with how he has built his team, it’s not about weakening one (position) to strengthen another. Voynov, for his age, he’s a pretty good player and he’s going to be a really good player.’’