The Chicago Blackhawks are only one win earning the Clarence S. Campbell Bowl as Western Conference Champions. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, though. In the last series, we learned that a 3-1 series deficit can be overcome, so that means the Los Angeles Kings are far from done.
A win tonight for the Kings would go a long ways. Obviously, they have to win to stay alive, but a win would give them the opportunity to even the series at home, where they rarely lose. Hypothetically, let’s say that is exactly what happens, and then the Kings would have the Hawks reeling in a corner, just like the Hawks did to the Red Wings, last series. This series is far from over, but for the Kings to have any chance at coming back in this series, they MUST get offensive production from their stars. Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown have been all but absent from the score sheet, in this series. The Kings have proved to be a very pedestrian, one-dimensional team without the offensive onslaught that these players can provide. The defensive-mindedness has worked well for them, but you can’t win without putting the puck in the net regularly, and the Kings simply haven’t done that, on a consistent basis. If the stars produce, like they are expected to produce, the Kings are very capable of coming back in this series.
The Hawks were looking to be catching the same illness of low star player production, that the Kings are suffering from, but not so much in Game 4. Things were looking very optimistic for the Kings who didn’t have to worry about dealing with Hawks’ star defenseman, Duncan Keith, who was serving his one-game suspension, as the Hawks took on the Kings, who were seemingly invincible at the Staples Center. However, Game 4 shook out a bit differently, as Patrick Kane found the back of the net, which seemingly ignited his game, as he played remarkably better than he had throughout the series. It was a huge character and literal victory for the Hawks, who are now carrying all of the momentum headed into Game 5, in Chicago, as they are one win away from being headed to the Stanley Cup Finals, to face the Boston Bruins.
It would be foolish of Hawks fans to consider this series over. If you are a Hawks fan, who DOES consider this series over, think back to the previous series against Detroit, as the Hawks shocked the world with their comeback from being down 3 games to 1. The L.A. Kings are in fact very capable of pulling off such a comeback. However, the momentum is favoring the Hawks, by far, but this is a crazy game, where crazy things happen regularly.