Kings-Hawks Game Four Preview: Ride or Die
The Kings hope to continue their vaunted strength on home ice to tie up the series.
Los Angeles Kings v Chicago Blackhawks (Staples Center)
Time: 6.00 PM
TV: RDS, CBC, NBC Sports Network
Enemy reading: Second City Hockey
Series coverage: Notes & Information | Preview | Game 1 coverage | Game 2 coverage | Game 3 coverage
Blackhawks (projected) lineup:
Injured: n/a; Scratched: Carcillo, Mayers, Smith, Stanton; Suspended despite being SO SORRY OMG SERIOUSLY YOU GUYS: Duncan Keith
Kings (projected) lineup:
Injured: Mitchell, Richards; Scratched: Martinez, Ellerby, Nolan, the Manchester Monarchs
- Hey, did you hear Duncan Keith got suspended?
- I've seen suggestions that Nick Leddy and Nicklas Hjalmarsson might rotate as Brent Seabrook's partner tonight. Both have been playing quite well recently, but Hjalmarsson might be hurting after blocking a shot in game 3. Either way, Sheldon Brookbank draws in for the third pairing.
- The Blackhawks aren't skating this morning, so I'm not sure of any other changes for them, but I don't think the forward lines will be shuffled. The Blackhawks didn't play a bad game on Tuesday, they just didn't play as well as the Kings did. We'll see if the Keith suspension gets them fired up, or whether the Kings' legend at Staples grows.
- As literally six consecutive tweets just informed me, Mike Richards remains out of the lineup with a concussion.
- Line rushes from practice this morning seem to confirm that Coach Sutter is sticking with his revamped lines. I would guess that, similarly to game 3, he plans mostly to roll his top three lines and give Colin Fraser's unit extremely limited time.
- I've had it wrong this whole time - it's not Alec Martinez who needs to be freed, it's Drew Doughty. Robyn Regehr isn't just killing me, he's killing the Kings' best defenceman. As Robert mentioned in his game 3 grades/analysis post, Jonathan Toews is running roughshod over this pairing, and they're spending an alarming amount of time in their own zone. #FreeDrew
- That being said, what a game 3 for Rob Scuderi and Slava Voynov. Obviously Voynov got the game winner, but they were sharp and fast and generally excellent after under-whelming to start the series. Let's hope this is the start of a trend, not an anomaly/solely a function of Sutter's home ice-enhanced line-matching.
- Jonathan Quick rules:
- Prediction: Kings win, a million people cry about Keith's suspension, and I laugh at all of them. KINGS IN SIX.