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PHT Morning Skate: Kings-Blackhawks do it all over again

May 18, 2014, 9:30 AM EDT

Chicago Blackhawks v Los Angeles Kings Getty Images

No, this is not a repeat, but it is a case of seeing the same two teams facing off in the Western Conference Final.

For the second year in a row, the Chicago Blackhawks and Los Angeles Kings face off against each other for the right to go to the Stanley Cup Final. Unlike last season, both teams come into the series at full health which means we might be treated to a tremendous series.

Just like last season, Chicago has home ice advantage and while playing on the road has never seemed to bother the Kings, having to deal with the raucous crowd at United Center more often than not doesn’t sound like a recipe for fun.

Game 1: Chicago Blackhawks vs. Los Angeles Kings (3:00 p.m. ET — NBC)

You know what you’re going to get when these teams square off, but there’s something a little different about L.A. this time around.

Yes, they still play the same stifling brand of hockey coach Darryl Sutter loves, but the Kings’ offense has been in high gear in the postseason. Anze Kopitar is the leading scorer in the postseason with 19 points. Marian Gaborik is the leading goal scorer with nine. Justin Williams‘ 11 points equals him with the Blackhawks’ top offensive performers (Marian Hossa, Brent Seabrook).

A Kings team that can defend tightly and score should sound terrifying, but for Chicago they’ve been getting tremendous goaltending from Corey Crawford.

Crawford leads all goalies in the playoffs in save percentage (.931) and goals-against average (1.97). When you’re topping the likes of Henrik Lundqvist, Carey Price, and Tuukka Rask you’re doing something very right. It’s always said that great goaltending wins championships and the ‘Hawks have to hope Crawford can shut down the, as of now, high-flying Kings offense.

  1. sprtsfan1 - May 18, 2014 at 10:49 AM

    Haha! Are the Blackhawks the underdogs here? If so, I’m sure they’ll take it. It seems this season that they need a little extra motivation this season. Go Hawks!!!

  2. jpat2424 - May 18, 2014 at 10:58 AM

    Gonna be tough. Go hawks !!

  3. McFaddensPulledHammy - May 18, 2014 at 11:15 AM

    I hope Jonny Oduya leaves his turnover sticks at home today.

    Not having Shaw will hurt somewhat but Bickell needs to get in front of Quick on the power play. LA is averaging over 15 PIM per game so get pucks and people to the net.

    Hawks need to start fast to put a little doubt into the Kings minds (doubt about winning today’s game, not series). I would think their legs will get somewhat heavy by the 3rd today so jump on them early and don’t give them a reason to dig deep.

  4. jimeejohnson - May 18, 2014 at 12:15 PM

    Kings earned the right to play the Blackhawks, again. This series is going to be tremendous.

  5. blomfeld - May 18, 2014 at 12:19 PM

    LET’S ‘DO IT AGAIN’ INDEED !!!

    __________________________

    Person A: you know, I have a real problem with those stupid Blackhawks !

    Person B: me too man … I can’t stand that punk Kane or that weirdo Toews !

    Problem Solver: don’t worry friends, the Blackhawks are going to be ‘dealt’ with … all will be well ! :)

    ___________________________

    Friends, the setting for this series, ultimately coupled with a glorious King’s victory will be ‘poetic justice’ in action no doubt. In the meantime however, it’s important for us to take at least one game there in Oprah Land … then we can really put the screws to these people and expose them for the ‘frauds’ which everyone knows they are. Let’s ‘do it’ man ! :)

    GO KINGS GO !!! … CRUSH THE THE HAWKS !!! … GOOD TIMES !!!!!!!!

    • 16thearlofderby - May 18, 2014 at 2:16 PM

      Kings in 7.

      quick > crawford

      sutter = Q

      def > for chi

      off > for chi

      body to body & grinding > kings

      no worries for the kings.

  6. aldog83 - May 18, 2014 at 12:23 PM

    Would love to see LA Kings take game 1.

    Take home ice and put real pressure on Hawks to have to win #2.

    GKG!!

  7. sprtsfan1 - May 18, 2014 at 1:22 PM

    Oh Bloms, I know you’re not as stoopid as ewe look! Frauds, hahaha! Should be a great series. People will call it closer than the series shows when the Blackhawks sweep your precious Queens. That is of course if the Hawks actually play their game from the get go. If they lay back like they did in the first two series I can see those LA wannabes getting a game or two. Not likely though. Should be fun regardless Bloms! I look forward to some good trash talking chats. Let’s go Hawks!!!!!

  8. crushed49 - May 18, 2014 at 3:22 PM

    If the kings can even keep up with the speed (nevermind the abilities) of the Blackhawks, there should be some interesting games. However, because I don’t think that they can, they will resort to their ‘go to’ ways.

    Hey kings, how about with this series, you leave all the childish crap out on the playground and all the ‘let’s see what we can get away with’ somewhere else.

  9. mollyohall7 - May 18, 2014 at 10:13 PM

    finally, an article admitting that Corey Crawford has been doing well! and no subtle “while he’s not an elite goaltender, he has been doing well….” or “unlike last year, his glove is making saves”. I’m glad someone gives him the respect he deserves

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