5: Kings-Blackhawks WCF Game 5 Preview

jonathan quick after he heard that handzus and bollig are still in the lineup - Jeff Gross

Los Angeles Kings v Chicago Blackhawks (United Center)

Time: 5:00 PM

TV: RDS, CBC, NBCSN

Enemy reading: Second City Hockey

Blackhawks (projected) lineup:

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

Keith-Seabrook
Oduya-Hjalmarsson
Leddy-Rozsival

Crawford

Injured: Nikolai Khabibulin; Scratched: Peter Regin, Jeremy Morin, Joakim Nordstrom, Sheldon Brookbank, David Rundblad

Kings (projected) lineup:

Gaborik-Kopitar-Brown
Pearson-Carter-Toffoli
King-Richards-Williams
Clifford-Stoll-Lewis

Muzzin-Doughty
Mitchell-Voynov
Greene-Martinez

Quick

Injured: Robyn Regehr; Scratched: Jeff Schultz, Jordan Nolan, Andy Andreoff, Patrik Bartosak, Derek Forbort, Colin Miller, Scott Sabourin, Nick Shore, Jordan Weal, Brayden McNabb, Andrew Bodnarchuk, Linden Vey, Andrew Campbell, Colin Fraser

Game Notes:

  • If you're nervous about tonight's game, don't be. Relax. Eat a snack. Report an annoying Blackhawks fan for spam. Eat two snacks! Treat yourself. Think about how great this all is - the Kings might have been done over a month ago, and instead we got at least seventeen bonus hockey games, including ten good, Anaheim-less ones! That's pretty neat, I think. I know we're all looking forward to the potential of another Stanley Cup Final, but try to enjoy this.
  • If that doesn't make you feel better, at least have a good hearty laugh over the fact that Brandon Bollig will return tonight, and Michal Handzus is still in the lineup. Handzus will probably be doing his best to negate whatever Patrick Sharp and Kris Versteeg bring to the table tonight, and Bollig (I'm just guessing) will remain terrible at hockey.
  • The Hawks top two lines do look good to me, however, which is a little concerning, but also I don't really care that much. There's been a lot of real & digital ink spilled about match-ups in this series, mostly Jonathan Toews vs. Anze Kopitar or Jeff Carter vs. whoever, and I've realised that I'm at peace about it. This Kings lineup has, by and large, earned our trust, and whoever Joel Quenneville (or even Michel Therrien or Alain Vigneault) sends over the boards, I'm not worried.
  • We've been having a Jake Muzzin/Tyler Toffoli/Tanner Pearson party over here, like most Kings coverage has been for this series, so I'm taking a second to give a tiny online salute to Dustin Brown, who has returned to being a capable part of an effective top line that's given the rest of the team the time and the space to wreak havoc.
  • I know the penalty kill has been good lately - both results-wise and also "watch the game, dummy" wise - but this habit of taking penalties in quick succession is still troubling and potentially damaging. I know lots of it is as a result of dealing with periods of sustained d-zone pressure, but the proportion of extremely dumb penalties remains disappointingly high.
  • ~Fun With Numbers~ from Extra Skater.
  • Prediction: Blackhawks score first - Brandon Bollig. Kings win 4-1. Streamers everywhere in the United Center, somehow.
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