Jan 19, 2013, 12:29 AM EDT
The Kings will celebrate their Stanley Cup championship on Saturday with a banner raising and ring ceremony.
Then they’ll get onto the business of battling the 2010 Cup champs.
That’ll be the scene as Los Angeles hosts the Chicago Blackhawks (3 p.m. ET, NBC) at Staples to open up the 2013 NHL regular season.
While the focus will largely be on the Kings — the reigning champs enter the season with targets on their back — there’ll be some focus on the Blackhawks as well.
Chicago isn’t far removed from being king of the hill, and dealing with the pressure that comes from it. Since winning the Cup two years ago, the ‘Hawks have struggled to achieve similar success and have been eliminated in the first round of consecutive postseasons.
“We get to wipe the slate clean,” he explained. “We know that we have tons of talent. We’ve got role players and depth. It’s exciting to correct some mistakes and move forward.”
Los Angeles is looking to wipe the slate clean too, albeit in a different manner.
The Kings want to carry over postseason momentum — they only lost four games en route to the Cup — and return almost their entire roster from last season.
But they also recognize a new season means new beginnings, and they can’t rest on past laurels.
“We’re the defending champs,” Anze Kopitar told the Los Angeles Times. “Everyone is going to try to beat us. I don’t think that changes anything in here. It’s going out there and leaving the past behind you.…You’ve got to turn the page now and write a new script for it.
“It’s going to be a short season and you can’t afford to make any mistakes.”
Tale of the Tape
|Los Angeles Kings (2011-12)||Chicago Blackhawks (2011-12)|
|Record: 40-27-15, 95 PTS (3rd in Pacific, 8th in Western Conference)||Record: 45-26-11, 101 PTS (4th in Central, 6th in Western Conference)|
|Leading Scorer: Anze Kopitar (25G-51A-76PTS)||Leading Scorer: Marian Hossa (29G-48A-77PTS)|
|Goalie: Jonathan Quick (35-21-13, 1.95 GAA)||Goalie: Corey Crawford (20-17-7, 2.72 GAA)|
– Kopitar will miss Saturday’s game with a knee sprain. (LA Times)
Aug 21, 2014, 11:00 PM EDT
He’ll have a battle to make the NHL next season.
Aug 21, 2014, 10:00 PM EDT
He died in the plane crash that killed the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl team in 2011.
Aug 21, 2014, 9:00 PM EDT
The NHL changed the process for the Draft Lottery on Wednesday.
Aug 21, 2014, 7:33 PM EDT
We know it’s not surprising, but just go along with it.
Aug 21, 2014, 6:24 PM EDT
A Stanley Cup and a Conn Smythe in separate years is a nice legacy.
Aug 21, 2014, 5:15 PM EDT
No one scored more Pens goals than he did the past three seasons.
Aug 21, 2014, 4:08 PM EDT
Call it an audition if you want.
Aug 21, 2014, 2:39 PM EDT
“He has instructed me to do all I can to facilitate a return to the Twin Cities.”
Aug 21, 2014, 2:04 PM EDT
He was quite good.
Aug 21, 2014, 1:11 PM EDT
“Nor is he very smart to have made untrue defamatory statements such as these.”
Aug 21, 2014, 12:32 PM EDT
“I talked with Todd today, and he never mentioned anything about captains or assistant captains.”
Aug 21, 2014, 11:47 AM EDT
All the first-time NHL head coach has to do is get Pittsburgh to the promised land. No biggie.
Aug 21, 2014, 10:40 AM EDT
Or until a successor is found.
Aug 21, 2014, 10:01 AM EDT
The 23-year-old defenseman may get a real shot this season.
Aug 21, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT
They were teammates in Calgary for two seasons.
Aug 21, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT
The pressure is on Sid and Geno now after a summer of change.
Aug 20, 2014, 11:00 PM EDT
And it was all The Great One’s idea.
Aug 20, 2014, 10:00 PM EDT
He can be an unrestricted free agent next summer.
Aug 20, 2014, 9:02 PM EDT
Recovery from offseason wrist surgery put things in doubt.
Aug 20, 2014, 7:55 PM EDT
He missed most of last season with a torn ACL.
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