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. Video: Lundqvist stones Stamkos with left-pad save

    May 26, 2015, 9:16 PM EDT

    Getty Images

    New York scored to make it 2-0 soon after that.

  2. Video: Brassard opens scoring for Rangers in Game 6

    May 26, 2015, 8:52 PM EDT

    AP

    New York needs the win to force Game 7.

  3. No NHL-first offer has been made for Seattle arena, says Hansen

    May 26, 2015, 8:13 PM EDT

    Chris Hansen AP

    “We’ve had a lot of informal discussions with people about this, but us or the city have yet to be presented with any kind of offer.”

  4. Holland to meet with Blashill this week, hasn’t expanded candidate list

    May 26, 2015, 6:29 PM EDT

    Colorado Avalanche v Detroit Red Wings Getty Images

    “I’ve had some people reach out to me,” the Red Wings GM said.

  5. Hitch has ‘unfinished business’ with the Blues

    May 26, 2015, 5:24 PM EDT

    Ken Hitchcock AP

    Meanwhile, GM Doug Armstrong says, “Show me a well-liked coach, and I’ll show you a losing coach.”

  6. Wild reporter pegs Dubnyk deal at ‘well north of $3 million per’

    May 26, 2015, 4:31 PM EDT

    Devan Dubnyk AP

    Michael Russo of the StarTribune being the reporter.

  7. Bob Clarke really doesn’t care for tanking

    May 26, 2015, 3:55 PM EDT

    2011 NHL Entry Draft - Rounds 2-7 2011 NHL Entry Draft - Rounds 2-7

    “The Flyers have never intentionally tried to lose. That would put a foul taste in my mouth. “

  8. ‘I’ve got no issues’ with Hitchcock, says Blues captain Backes

    May 26, 2015, 2:46 PM EDT

    Ken Hitchcock, David Backes, Dmitrij Jaskin, Paul Stastny, Patrik Berglund Getty Images

    “Does he ride guys hard and has he been on my case at times, where it’s made me angry? Yes. But he does it in the light of trying to make our team better, trying to make each individual player better.”

  9. In defense of Yandle, who’s ‘trying to make some plays’

    May 26, 2015, 2:14 PM EDT

    Tampa Bay Lightning v New York Rangers - Game Five Getty Images

    Had a bad giveaway in Game 5, but those giveaways are going to happen occasionally.

  10. Paquette ‘very questionable’ for Bolts after Game 5 shot block

    May 26, 2015, 1:30 PM EDT

    Montreal Canadiens v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game Four Getty Images

    Could be held out of tonight’s potential series-clinching tilt.

  11. Preds, Volchenkov have discussed new deal

    May 26, 2015, 1:10 PM EDT

    Arizona Coyotes v Nashville Predators Getty Images

    But there’s nothing imminent, according to his agent.

  12. Hossa’s age just one of the challenges facing Blackhawks

    May 26, 2015, 12:34 PM EDT

    Marian Hossa, Ryan Kesler Marian Hossa, Ryan Kesler

    The 36-year-old played just 14:44 last night in Anaheim.

  13. ‘Five or six teams have called’ on Sens goalies, says Murray

    May 26, 2015, 11:55 AM EDT

    Boston Bruins v Ottawa Senators Boston Bruins v Ottawa Senators

    “There has been some discussion and there will continue to be.”

  14. Hitchcock re-signs for one more year in St. Louis

    May 26, 2015, 11:35 AM EDT

    Head coach Ken Hitchcock of the St. Louis Blues leads his team against the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center on February 20, 2013 in Denver, Colorado. The Avalanche defeated the Blues 1-0 in overtime.
(February 19, 2013 - Source: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

    One more chance to get the Blues over the playoff hump.

  15. Oilers’ Pinizzotto signs in German League

    May 26, 2015, 10:41 AM EDT

    Edmonton Oilers v Anaheim Ducks Edmonton Oilers v Anaheim Ducks

    Journeyman tough guy appeared in 18 games last year.

  16. Cooper: Lightning aren’t treating Game 6 like any other game

    May 26, 2015, 10:40 AM EDT

    150526-Rangers-Lightning Getty Images

    No sense denying the magnitude of being one win from the Stanley Cup Final.

  17. Boudreau isn’t worried about Andersen after Ducks ‘bailed him out’

    May 26, 2015, 9:30 AM EDT

    cd0ymzcznguwzdbhnduynddiytjhm2yyzthlmtjjotqwyyznpwuyndi1zmm4ymnkzdy4yju0yzm3ndfhztvjzwe4nwy1 AP

    Anaheim didn’t take long to rebound in overtime last night.

Featured video

End of an era coming for Blackhawks?
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. M. Zuccarello (3731)
  2. H. Lundqvist (2265)
  3. S. Stamkos (2133)
  4. M. Babcock (1989)
  5. R. Nash (1607)
  1. M. Carle (1541)
  2. N. Horton (1475)
  3. C. Crawford (1385)
  4. B. Bishop (1368)
  5. F. Andersen (1364)