*Featured picture/Global News
When this game started between our Los Angeles Kings against the*Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre, for LA’s second game of this early season eastern road trip, it didn’t even dawn at me that this was the 25th Anniversary of when the “Habs” celebrated winning the 1993 Stanley Cup with hanging their Cup banner ceremony. I didn’t even know the Canadiens were even going to celebrate the anniversary by bringing in some legends that played on that Stanley Cup winning team (to our detriment), until my brother in law, and bestie since the 7th grade, the lifelong Montreal Canadien die hard, Derno, mentioned it to me a few days before the game. We even discussed maybe even driving up the 7-hour drive to Montreal to watch this game in person, but things just didn’t work out. And that’s too bad because I would have LOVED the outcome.

I have to admit though when finding out about this 25th Anniversary celebration before the game of when Montreal (or any Canadian team) last won the Stanley Cup (which for you Cuppers, was against us), my hockey superstitions started kicking in, like really bad. First, I pictured the Kings getting a 2-0 lead. Then Montreal would get one back. And with 2 minutes left to go in the game, I feared that Drew Doughty, or Jake Muzzin, was going to get penalized for using an illegal stick. Which would then allow one of Montreal’s defensemen to tie the game up, allowing Montreal to win in overtime, (sure the Kings would have still gained a point in today’s modern NHL, but STILL!). My superstitions couldn’t have been more wrong. Instead, we got another brilliant performance by Kings’ goaltender Jack Campbell, who made 40 saves, (and not 36 saves as Fox Sports West had up on their post-game headline. Thanks to our very own Rebbi Rabbs for pointing that out to me last night. Oh Fox Sports West, you silly statistic beasts you), and the birth of my new favorite line, the AC-AD* (think AC-DC, the legendary rock band, not the battery, and picture a lightning bolt between the C and the A) line of rookie Jaret Anderson-Dolan, second-year rookie Mike Amadio and the veteran leader Jeff Carter, (who were on the third line by the way!), to lead the Kings to a 3-0 victory, (therefore GAINING REVENGE AGAINST MONTREAL FOR THE 1993 STANLEY CUP FINAL!!! Okay not really, since none of these players were there, or some even alive at that time, BUT A LOT OF US WERE, INCLUDING KINGS’ PRESIDENT LUC ROBITAILLE AND GENERAL MANAGER ROB BLAKE, SO YEAH!!!)
*Credit to Kings’ fan Jordan Heckman on Facebook for suggesting/creating the “AC-AD” line nickname.
The Canadiens came out FAST right out the gate and the Kings struggled early with containing their speed. Like the “Hab’s were all over them. To counteract this defensively, all world defensemen Drew Doughty went all UFC World Welterweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov (watch UFC 229 or the news to know what I’m talking about here), and was taking on the whole team himself by throwing around any player with a Red jersey around, including cross-checking one from behind at one point. It went unnoticed by the refs, but no worries to any Montreal fans reading this (*cough* Derno *cough* my father-in-law *cough*), Doughty did end up with a penalty, but unfairly, as the refs penalized the wrong guy. Doughty*sprawled to the ice to break up a scoring opportunity*from the*pesky Andrew Shaw and Shaw, while grabbing Doughty’s jersey and not letting go, held him down, before throwing a punch at Drew’s head! After seeing this, the blind refs gave Doughty the penalty, of course! (UGH!)
Now remember the Kings’ hadn’t even had a shot in net yet against former Hart and Vezina Trophy winner Carey Price, so with Montreal’s speed already giving the Kings’ (or me) ulcers, now they are short-handed against them. But to our positive dismay, the Kings killed it off (with some great goaltending by “Soupie”), and did something that usually happens against the Kings, not for them, when after killing the penalty, Adrien Kempe went on a 2 on 1 with Tyler Toffoli, and showed everyone that the Kings have some speed themselves, scored a beauty of*a wrist shot past Price at 3:56 to make it 1-0 Kings! It was Kempe’s first regular season goal since last February, with Toffoli and Carter getting the assists. This was also “Carts'” first point of the season.*Having no points so far this season was why he was dropped to the 3rd line, to begin with and oh boy, did it work!
Later at 11:31, the “AC-AD” line finally struck when Mike Amadio scored his first of the season, with Jeff Carter getting another assist, and Anderson-Dolan (with one of his Moms there in attendance witnessing her son’s accomplishment,) getting his first ever NHL career point with his assist,*after setting up Amadio with an intelligent pass from “Gretzky’s office, (or for you Cuppers out there, behind the opposing goalie’s net!) The pass and play between the 3 players to set up that goal, players who barely have played together on the same line, was quite impressive and maybe, the beginning of another beautiful line formation to be shrined in LA Kings’ lore??? Time will tell, but it was 2-0 Kings by the end of the first period.
Also later, Anderson-Dolan almost scored his first ever NHL goal too but was robbed by a sweet glove hand save by Price. So, so close.
Montreal kept pressing in the second, but despite their speed advantage, (and size disadvantage), they couldn’t get the puck past Campbell, including when “Soupie” completely ROBBED the newly acquired (and former CRY-ote) Max Domi from point-blank range! Campbell also robbed Jonathan Drouin, while Campbell was WAY out of the net! (Campbell’s Padawan Jedi skills are looking more and more impressive with each game).
In the 3rd period, the “AC-AD” line, (and yes, I am trying to make this nickname a thing all “Mean Girls” like), struck again when “El Jefe” Jeff Carter decided that having two assists in this game wasn’t enough, so he scored his first goal of the season, (while not looking and*golf swinging*the puck towards the net, which I have to admit is exactly the same technique and style I use whenever I am playing mini-golf but with way less accuracy), while Anderson-Dolan was doing a great job of screening Price at 9:04. Assists to Muzzin and Alec Martinez. Which is fitting considering the 2014 Stanley Cup*winning OT*goalscoring*AND 2014 Western Conference game 7 (in Chicago!) final OT winning goalscoring Hero, Mr. “Jazz hands” himself, Martinez was playing in his 500th career NHL game! (CONGRATS A-MART!!!)

The game wasn’t without controversy though. More confusion really than controversy when Shaw seemed to have broken Campbell’s shutout streak by scoring with*9 minutes left to go in the game, but the refs called it off due to goalie interference. BUT THEN, the Toronto Situation Video room, (complete with their chaotic monkeys wearing nice suits who do nothing but jump around and push buttons), called for a review on the play, only later to agree that there was goalie interference from Shaw (well duh), and the refs were actually right in disallowing the goal. So no goal. (This left me shaking my head, as in real time, the interference was obvious.*So obvious in fact these*same refs, who were*making some strange calls all night, even called it correctly right away. Me thinks the nicely dressed up chaotic monkeys in Toronto must still be bitter about the Kings eliminating their ‘precious’ Toronto Maple Leafs from the Conference Final back in 1993. Speaking of 1993, can you guys in Montreal and Toronto just LET IT GO! It was 25 years ago! Move on with your lives!*Or so I would say if I was able to move on and wasn’t STILL bitter that we lost that Cup Final to Montreal in 5 games and STILL boast to Leaf fans today of our glorious victory over them in game 7 at Maple Leaf Gardens! Oh “Great One” and your crafty skating into enemy territory alone against 5 players and a goalie, and taking the puck to your office and banking it off the calf of the Leaf’s defencemen and into the net for what turned out to be the game and Conference Final winner*like it was no thang!)

In the end, the Kings were outshot 40-29 by the “Habs” but once the Kings settled down and got comfortable dealing with Montreal’s speed, most of those shots, including 15 of them on Campbell were from 30 feet out. Of those 15 shots, only 3 were within 10 feet. So huge props to Captain Anze Kopitar, Ilya Kovalchuk, Carter, and Doughty, who were consistently clogging up the middle lanes and pushing Montreal to the outer perimeter in order to get their shots.
But speaking of props, the biggest, of course, goes to Jack Campbell, who still had to make 40 saves in order to earn his first ever NHL career shutout! (CONGRATS “SOUPIE!!!”) Campbell, who is now 2-1 0, 1.35 GAA, 1 SO and .966 SPCTG in Jonathan Quick‘s absence, and I know it’s still too early to tell but he is already reminding me of when Quickie got hurt in Buffalo back in 2013 and Ben Scrivens & Martin Jones had to hold the fort and hold the fort they did with 3 shutouts each! So it’s so far so good for the World Junior Gold Medalist and an 11th overall pick in the 2010 NHL entry draft (for Dallas). In Campbell we trust!
And as mentioned above, props also to Jeff Carter for his 3 points, Kempe and Amadio with their goals, Martinez for playing in his 500th game, Doughty for “UFC’ing” every “Habs'” player in sight*and to Anderson-Dolan for his first ever NHL point!
The Kings play the Ottawa Senators next on Saturday at 11:00 am pst/2 pm est, so let’s hope the Kings can keep this winning momentum rocking and rolling!
So until next time everyone, I am JD Stylz, and now I am out of here!

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