It was Jonathan Quick last season. This time it was Jack Campbell.
Great goalie stories seem to spring up in Montreal in October for the Kings. Quick outdueled Carey Price in a 4-0 shutout in Quick’s comeback season of 2017-18. Campbell followed suit Thursday with a 3-0 shutout, his first in the NHL.
It was only the fourth game of the season, but the Kings really needed a win and Campbell and teammates delivered against the Montreal Canadiens.
Here’s what we learned:
Campbell is the most popular player in the room. That was sort of assumed because of his humble, almost goofy personality. It’s also clear that teammates enjoy a good story as the rest of us and Campbell is just that: A former first-round draft pick whose career tumbled and turned around with the Kings.
“I love Jack. We all love Jack,” Alec Martinez said in a television interview. “He works so hard, this year in the offseason. He’s an awesome guy. He’s stepped up to the plate every time we’ve asked him.”
The third line was a charm. The reuniting of Adrian Kempe with Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson resulted in a third-line combination of Jeff Carter with Michael Amadio and Jaret ] Anderson-Dolan.
All that line did was produce two goals and three assists. Carter seems to be getting his legs back after a long-term ankle tendon injury last season, and he’s impressed with Amadio, 22, and Anderson-Dolan, 19.
“Amadio’s a highly-skilled guy, he can make very good plays in the middle and AD’s AD – he works his [butt] off and hunts pucks down and creates turnovers and plays the game the right way,” Carter said.
The power play is still a mess. A win takes a lot of attention away from this but the unit fell to 0-for-13 to start the season. Its first attempt yielded two shorthanded tries by Montreal that were thwarted by Campbell.
Ilya Kovalchuk has gotten more looks – he took eight shots – but is still looking for his first power-play goal. Dion Phaneuf remains at the point in place of Kovalchuk.
The rest of the units have played together for years, so the disorganization is difficult to explain at this point.