We are left with two teams in the Western Conference and come Saturday they will begin a series to determine who will represent the conference in the Stanley Cup Finals. It’s the Chicago Blackhawks and the Los Angeles Kings, who will win?
These two have met three times this season and the Blackhawks took two of three. Chicago outscored Los Angeles 12-9. The Kings however did manage to have a better power play and a penalty kill.
Chicago needs to get their captain Jonathan Toews going, as he has struggled in the playoffs. He has managed just one goal and five assists with a -2 through the first two rounds. Toews has a favorable matchup to turn things around, in three games against the Kings this season he has three goals and three assists with a +4.
For the Kings their Jonathan has been playing great, as Jonathan Quick has been nothing short of stellar. Quick is 8-5 with a 1.50 GAA, three shutouts, and a .948 save percentage. Kings fans might have some trepidation with this matchup considering Quick’s play in the regular season the Blackhawks. Quick was 1-2 with a 4.04 GAA.
The Kings will have address their road woes if they are going to be able to win this series. Los Angeles on the season posted a road record of 8-12-4, compared to their 19-4-1 record at home. Another problem for them on the road has been scoring, they scored eight goals in six road games this postseason.
On paper the Blackhawks look like a shoe-in as they have a better offense this season scoring a 155 goals to the Kings 133 and a better defense allowing 102 goals to the Kings 188. Los Angeles does have a red hot Quick and many times a red-hot netminder carries a team to a Cup.
Prediction: Chicago in seven
Look out tomorrow for Jeff Ekiert’s Eastern Conference Preview..
John Machurek is an Assistant Editor and the NHL Senior Writer for The Inscriber Digital Magazine. Follow him on Twitter @JohnnyMacNHL and e-mail him at JohnnyMachurek@TheInscriber.com.