Game Day #34: Kings @ Blackhawks Preview

USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Kings v Chicago Blackhawks (United Center)

Time: 4.00 PM

TV: Fox Sports West

Enemy reading: Second City Hockey

Blackhawks (projected) lineup:

Sharp-Toews-Hossa
Versteeg-Handzus-Kane
Saad-Shaw-Morin
Bollig-Kruger-Smith

Keith-Seabrook
Hjalmarsson-Oduya
Leddy-Kostka

Raanta

Injured: Corey Crawford, Nikolai Khabibulin, Bryan Bickell; Scratched: Sheldon Brookbank, Michal Rozsival

Kings (projected) lineup:

King-Kopitar-Carter
Brown-Stoll-Williams
Clifford-Richards-Toffoli
Carcillo-Lewis-Nolan

Muzzin-Doughty
Regehr-Voynov
Martinez-Greene

MARTIN JONES Scrivens


Game notes:
  • Willie Mitchell is "ill" and won't play tonight, which means I am about to fly into Ottawa and burn the whole place to the ground.
  • If the Kings can just get through tonight without another player getting concussed, I would call that a win. Going 3-1-0 on a road trip with two back-to-backs is pretty great - getting the fourth win would just be icing on the cake.
  • The Hawks got trampled by the Leafs last night, losing 7-3 after a 4-1 second period for the Leafs. Starting goaltender Antti Raanta got pulled, so, uhh...at least he'll be semi-rested tonight?
  • The Hawks' goaltending situation is dicey, but the only skater they're missing is Bryan Bickell, so they've still got a lot of firepower and a generally pretty solid defensive situation - they were a great team having a bad game in Toronto last night, and I'm not expecting such a poor showing tonight.
  • This is the first time the Kings & Hawks have played since last year's WCF, but we're not going to talk about that because I'm still mad about it. Instead, let's remember this Dustin Brown natural hat trick, because it was super great.
  • Why won't you just free Linden Vey??????? The bottom six got run over in Ottawa, and they'll have to play a good chunk of time tonight due to fatigue from the back-to-back and the travel. I will be watching from between my fingers.
  • These two teams are pretty similar, except on special teams, where they are basically polar opposites. ~Fun With Numbers~:
  • Team GP Points ROW Goal Diff PP% PK% S/G SA/G CF% (5v5SC) FF% (5v5SC) PDO
    Kings 33 48 (3rd, W)
    17
    +28 (4th)
    16.8 (20th) 86.3 (5th) 30.9 (10th) 27.0 (5th) 56.3 (2nd)
    55.2 (4th)
    1001 (15th)
    Chicago 35 51 (1st, W)
    19
    +32 (2nd)
    23.7 (5th) 73.1 (29th) 33.2 (3rd)
    26.5 (6th) 57.7 (1st) 56.2 (1st)
    1008 (12th)

  • The Hawks and the Kings are two of the best teams in the league, but the Hawks have been somewhat better to this point. To be the best you have to go through the best, or whatever. It's a shame we'll be seeing these teams tired, coming off of travel and a back-to-back, but that's the NHL for you. Prediction: Kings win 4-3, everyone is sloppy, I cry about Willie Mitchell.

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