Jun 8, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane (88) celebrates after scoring the game-winning goal against the Los Angeles Kings during the second overtime in game five of the Western Conference finals of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the United Center. The Blackhawks won 4-3 to win the series four games to one. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

Western Conference Final Preview: Chicago Blackhawks vs. Los Angeles Kings


The Chicago Blackhawks (46-21-15) won their first two series in 6 games each which could be an advantage going into this series.  Their best players have been their best players throughout the playoffs so far.  If there’s one thing the Blackhawks  would like to see improve is their powerplay.  They have 6 goals in 12 games on the powerplay.

The Los Angeles Kings (46-28-8) have gone the distance in each series including an incredible come back in round one against the San Jose Sharks down 3 games to nothing.  The Kings group currently playing have not lost a game seven game as a group.  As a matter of fact in both series the Kings have outscored their opponent 11-3.

Western Conference:

#5 Blackhawks vs. #6 Kings

Season series: Blackhawks 3-0-0

Series Schedule:

Game one: May 18 in Chicago at 3:00 Eastern time

Game two: May 21 in Chicago at 8:00 Eastern Time

Game three:  May 24 in Los Angeles at 8:00 Eastern time

Game four:  May 26 in Los Angeles at 9:00 Eastern time

Game five:  May 28 in Chicago at 8:00 Eastern time if necessary

Game six:  May 30 in Los Angeles at 9:00 Eastern time if necessary

Game seven:  June 1 in Chicago at 8:00 Eastern time if necessary

Blackhawks

The Blackhawks have had some tough moments in this playoff season.  They’ve been pushed to six games in both series and would like their powerplay to get on track and be a little more consistent.

Their top players have been good and Corey Crawford has been good when he’s had to be.  The good news is Chicago hasn’t lost to the Kings all season going 3 and 0.  They’re hoping that trend continues.

Backstop:  Corey Crawford has been good and he’ll have to exceptional against the Kings this series.

X-Factor: Jonathan Toews is rested and this guy does it all in the playoffs.  He kills penalties, takes important faceoffs, scores big goals and plays the powerplay.

Ex-JetsJohnny Oduya is an ex-Jet and Duncan Keith, Patrick Sharp and Jonathan Toews were all born in Winnipeg.

 

Kings

The Los Angeles Kings are going to be tough.  Jonathan Quick has been playing back to his Stanley Cup playoff run of a few years ago but haven”t beaten the Blackhawks this season.  They’re hoping that isn’t a factor in the playoffs.

Their big players have also been their best players and if they get to a game seven, this team hasn’t lost since their cup win a few years ago.  Anze Kopitar is on a big run and having a Conn Smythe playoff year and the Blackhawks are going to have to watch him this series.

Backstop:  Jonathan Quick is on a tear and is tough to beat.  The Blackhawks will have to get a lot of traffic in front of him if they want to score on this hot goaltender.

X-Factor:  Jonathan Quick is the key to the Kings moving on this playoff season.

Ex-Jets: No ex Jets players and no players from Manitoba but Mike Richard is from Kenora, ON only a couple hours from Winnipeg and is good friends with Jonathan Toews.

 

Prediction Sure To Go Wrong:

I pick the Blackhawks to take this series in 5 games simply because the Kings have had two very tough series going the distance in each series and they could be a little tired for this round against the powerful Blackhawks.  Added to that fact the Kings haven’t beaten the Blackhawks all year.

 

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