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. Flyers deal Coburn to the Lightning for Gudas and picks (Confirmed)

    Mar 2, 2015, 2:15 AM EST

    Braydon Coburn Getty Images

    It’s a first round and third round selection heading to Philly.

  2. Video: Getzlaf, Ducks top Stars

    Mar 2, 2015, 12:30 AM EST

    Ryan Getzlaf Getty Images

    Dallas’ skid reaches six games.

  3. Ladd leads the Jets over the Kings

    Mar 1, 2015, 11:30 PM EST

    Andrew Ladd Getty Images

    Winnipeg moves three points back of Chicago in the Central Division.

  4. Video: Leafs’ Polak with a dangerous hit on Caps’ Johansson

    Mar 1, 2015, 9:15 PM EST

    Screen Shot 2015-03-01 at 9.09.20 PM

    The Washington forward remains in the game.

  5. Stars send Cole to the Wings for prospects (Confirmed)

    Mar 1, 2015, 8:00 PM EST

    Florida Panthers v Dallas Stars Getty Images

    Both teams also swapped draft picks in the deal.

  6. Report: Rangers, Zuccarello nearing a four-year deal

    Mar 1, 2015, 7:06 PM EST

    Mats Zuccarello Getty Images

    He is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent after this season.

  7. Video: Jets and Kings get physical in the second

    Mar 1, 2015, 6:35 PM EST

    Screen Shot 2015-03-01 at 6.18.27 PM

    It started with a Matt Greene hit on Mark Scheifele.

  8. Video: Jackets’ Johansen with an open ice hit on Crosby

    Mar 1, 2015, 6:15 PM EST

    Screen Shot 2015-03-01 at 6.07.24 PM

    The Pens’ captain was unharmed on the play.

  9. Goalie nods: Ducks give another start to Gibson

    Mar 1, 2015, 3:38 PM EST

    John Gibson AP

    Sunday’s expected starting goalies.

  10. Anders Lee named rookie of the month

    Mar 1, 2015, 2:22 PM EST

    Zdeno Chara, Anders Lee AP

    The Islanders winger was February’s best first-year player.

Featured video

Trade deadline storylines to watch
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. H. Lundqvist (2431)
  2. N. Horton (2374)
  3. K. Okposo (2361)
  4. P. Kane (2202)
  5. T. Hall (2184)