Skip to content

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

May 18, 2014, 9:30 AM EST

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.

Latest Posts
  1. Dougie Hamilton, a.k.a. ‘the future’ of the Bruins, earns praise from Julien

    Dec 22, 2014, 3:31 PM EST

    Dougie Hamilton AP

    “He’s 21 years old. I think we’re getting a lot out of a 21 year-old defenseman right now.”

  2. Ex-Blackhawk Barker heads back to KHL

    Dec 22, 2014, 3:20 PM EST

    Cam Barker AP

    Signs with HC Slovan Bratislava.

  3. Red-hot Sharks have tough stretch ahead

    Dec 22, 2014, 2:14 PM EST

    Brent Burns AP

    Have won eight straight at home, but must travel to Anaheim tonight.

  4. Devils test Elias, Havlat for mumps

    Dec 22, 2014, 12:52 PM EST

    New York Rangers v New Jersey Devils New York Rangers v New Jersey Devils

    After teammates Travis Zajac and Adam Larsson both had them.

  5. The Wild’s poor goaltending is costing them valuable points

    Dec 22, 2014, 12:28 PM EST

    Calle Jarnkrok, Darcy Kuemper, Mikko Koivu AP

    Will GM Chuck Fletcher do anything about it?

  6. Kopitar, Voracek, Fleury named NHL’s three stars of the week

    Dec 22, 2014, 12:12 PM EST

    Anze Kopitar AP

    Kings’ center broke out of his slump in a major way.

  7. Stars loan Honka to Team Finland for World Juniors

    Dec 22, 2014, 12:06 PM EST

    Julius Honka Getty Images

    “I talked with Dallas and they think it’s a good experience for me to play for my country and play for the national team.”

  8. Pens send Downie, Sutter, Greiss home for mumps test (Updated)

    Dec 22, 2014, 11:56 AM EST

    Pittsburgh Penguins v Minnesota Wild Pittsburgh Penguins v Minnesota Wild

    All three traveled with the club to Florida for tonight’s game.

  9. Sens rookie Lazar to captain Canada at World Juniors

    Dec 22, 2014, 11:36 AM EST

    Colorado Avalanche v Ottawa Senators Colorado Avalanche v Ottawa Senators

    Connor McDavid and Sam Reinhart will be the alternates.

  10. The Atlantic Division race is going to be fascinating

    Dec 22, 2014, 11:33 AM EST

    Boston Bruins v Toronto Maple Leafs Getty Images

    Lots of pressure on the Bruins and Leafs.

  11. Pens, Panthers renew hostilities after Saturday’s feisty affair

    Dec 22, 2014, 11:28 AM EST

    Kris Letang, Willie Mitchell Kris Letang, Willie Mitchell

    Will Willie Mitchell and Kris Letang square off again tonight in Florida?

  12. Ruff reaches out to Garbutt’s dad about son’s reckless play

    Dec 22, 2014, 10:02 AM EST

    Ryan Garbutt Getty Images

    “I’ve used almost every strategy I’ve got, and I love him.”

  13. Capitals call up Burakovsky, Volpatti ends conditioning stint

    Dec 22, 2014, 9:42 AM EST

    Andre Burakovsky Getty Images

    Volpatti will return to the long-term injured reserve list.

  14. Report: NHL won’t hold hearing for Bartkowski hit

    Dec 22, 2014, 8:54 AM EST

    Matt Bartkowski, Marcus Foligno, Brian Gionta AP

    Brian Gionta was injured as a result of the blow.

Featured video

More than a Stanley Cup hangover?
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. B. Bishop (3746)
  2. S. Crosby (3713)
  3. C. Perry (2521)
  4. B. Elliott (2298)
  5. C. Crawford (2204)
  1. C. Kunitz (2059)
  2. D. Krejci (2016)
  3. J. Schwartz (2009)
  4. O. Palat (1697)
  5. T. Hall (1646)