Round 2 of the NHL playoffs has come to an end, so now its time to turn our attention to the conference finals. Let’s look at the upcoming series between (1) The Chicago Blackhawks and (5) The Los Angeles Kings.
(Regular season head-to-head: Chicago 2-1-0 vs LA)
The reigning Presidents Trophy winners will play host to the defending Stanley Cup Champions on Saturday to open the Western Conference Finals. Wait, you mean you need more reasons to watch? Fine, there are still plenty more to consider.
Jonathon Toews leads this impressive Blackhawks team against Dustin Brown and the Kings: both players are finalists for the Mark Messier Leadership Award this season. But the biggest playmakers from these two teams haven’t scored a goal all season long. 2012 playoff MVP, goalie Jonathan Quick will go up against the young Blackhawks netminder Corey Crawford, who has had the best season of his career. Both goalies have had strong postseasons, although Quick’s numbers have been the more impressive of the two.
Both teams will look to bring pressure all over the ice. The Kings will use their size to win battles along the boards, while the Blackhawks will bring more numbers to the puck at every opportunity. Both coaches are well established in the NHL, and both have gone the distance to win the Stanley Cup within the last 4 years.
5 Key Stats
1: The Chicago Blackhawks allowed only 102 goals this season – the lowest of any team in the NHL.
2: Jonathan Quick leads all goalies with a .948 save% this postseason. He also leads all remaining goalies with a 1.50 playoff Goals Against Average.
3: The meetings between these teams during the regular season have resulted in a high number of goals, despite the impressive defensive numbers from each team. 21 total goals were scored in the 3 games these teams played. (CHI 5-2, CHI 3-2, LA 5-4)
4: Chicago forward, Patrick Kane scored 23 goals during the regular season, but he has only 2 so far this postseason. Chicago will be dangerous if Kane re-discovers his scoring touch.
5: The Kings are have only 1 road win in 6 tries this postseason: a far cry from last season’s impressive run through the Western Conference, where the Kings went 8-0 on the road. The Kings need to find more success away from Staples Center to have a chance against Chicago.
Prediction: Chicago Blackhawks in 5 games
The Series MVP Will Be: Chicago Forward, Patrick Kane
- Blackhawks vs Kings Series Preview (thasportsjunkies101.wordpress.com)
- Blackhawks show resilience in playoffs (timesleader.com)
- Blackhawks Dominate Game Seven (collegesportsblogs.wordpress.com)