Skip to content

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.

Latest Posts
  1. Wild’s Dubnyk shakes off six-goal night, saves 36 as Blues pushed to brink

    Apr 25, 2015, 12:28 AM EDT

    Devan Dubnyk AP

    St. Louis couldn’t capitalize on an early lead.

  2. WATCH LIVE: Tonight’s Stanley Cup Playoff action

    Apr 24, 2015, 11:30 PM EDT

    Marc-Andre Fleury AP

    Pittsburgh and Ottawa need to win to survive.

  3. Malkin: ‘I want to say sorry to fans, to my teammates’

    Apr 24, 2015, 11:24 PM EDT

    Evgeni Malkin Getty Images

    He didn’t get a point in the first round.

  4. Video: Prust sparks melee by spearing goalie Anderson

    Apr 24, 2015, 10:57 PM EDT

    Prust, Anderson

    Senators coach Dave Cameron called it “cheap” and a sign of frustration.

  5. It’s Done: Rangers eliminate Penguins in overtime

    Apr 24, 2015, 10:35 PM EDT

    cd0ymzcznguwzdbhnduynddiytjhm2yyzthlmtjjotqwyyznpta0ntizmjbjndy3yti3nwe0nwfhnwy3odfjn2u2mwrm AP

    Evgeni Malkin finished the series without a point.

  6. Video: Tarasenko continues unreal run with sixth goal on nine shots

    Apr 24, 2015, 10:14 PM EDT

    Vladimir Tarasenko

    Alexander Steen played a big role in that marker.

  7. Blues without Jori Lehtera for Game 5 vs. Wild

    Apr 24, 2015, 9:30 PM EDT

    Jori Lehtera Getty Images

    The odds of him playing were initially “50-50.”

  8. Video: Spaling gets unusual goal as puck bounces off arm

    Apr 24, 2015, 8:59 PM EDT

    Spaling goal

    That tied Game 5 between Pittsburgh and the Rangers at 1-1.

  9. Video: Ryan snaps 16-game goal scoring slump

    Apr 24, 2015, 7:47 PM EDT

    Ryan goal

    is that the start of a breakout for him?

  10. Price, Dubnyk, Rinne are Vezina Trophy finalists

    Apr 24, 2015, 6:38 PM EDT

    Carey Price Getty Images

    The Canadiens goaltender looks like the heavy favorite.

  11. Bettman doesn’t want to give Isles fans ‘hope’ of return to Nassau County

    Apr 24, 2015, 4:16 PM EDT

    Capitals Getty Images

    “Lots of possibilities have been thrown out about an arena for the last decade and none of them have materialized.”

  12. Chicago to start Darling in Game 6

    Apr 24, 2015, 3:40 PM EDT

    Chicago Blackhawks v Nashville Predators - Game Five Chicago Blackhawks v Nashville Predators - Game Five

    After allowing four goals in a Game 5 loss to Nashville.

  13. Chiarelli named Oilers’ GM and president of hockey ops

    Apr 24, 2015, 3:17 PM EDT

    Chiarelli

    “In this business, you can’t be afraid to make trades.”

  14. Chevy re-confirms Pavelec as Winnipeg’s No. 1

    Apr 24, 2015, 2:48 PM EDT

    Ondrej Pavelec Ondrej Pavelec

    Much like he did at the end of last year.

  15. Richardson favored to be next Buffalo coach, says oddsmaker

    Apr 24, 2015, 2:10 PM EDT

    Luke Richardson 3

    Currently coaching Ottawa’s AHL affiliate in Binghamton.

Featured video

Plenty of pressure on Blues
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. Z. Kassian (2663)
  2. S. Weber (2273)
  3. K. Letang (2265)
  4. M. Fisher (2136)
  5. A. Burrows (2055)
  1. C. Ehrhoff (1918)
  2. S. Crosby (1827)
  3. M. Giordano (1754)
  4. T. Hamonic (1733)
  5. D. Carcillo (1707)