In a rematch of last season’s Western Conference Finals, the Chicago Blackhawks and the Los Angeles Kings will go up against each other, in what is an exciting matchup, between two of the best teams, in the highly competitive Western Conference.[table “28” not found /]
It looks like the Kings have the edge, in this game, statistically speaking. The Kings have been excellent at keeping pucks out of their own net, which is especially impressive when star goaltender, Jonathan Quick has missed several games due to injury. The Blackhawks allow a lot of goals, especially for an elite team, but what they have that the Kings don’t is an explosive offense of epic proportions. The Blackhawks offense versus the Kings defensive game is the true marquis matchup, in this game. These are the top two teams in the league in Corsi For Percentage, so basically these teams control the puck, and are smart with the puck, to where they create chances to score goals and win games.
The Kings won their game, last night, and are winners of 6 straight games, which has them in 2nd place, in the Pacific Division, only a point behind, and one less game played, than the division leading Anaheim Ducks. The leading lamp lighters, for the Kings are Anze Kopitar, Jeff Carter and Mike Richards. While he doesn’t put up elite level points, he can still score, Dustin Brown will make his presence felt, in this game. Perennial Norris candidate Drew Doughty is one of the NHL’s elite defenseman, and can move the puck with the best of them, and is a major part of the Kings puck controlling successes.
While Quick has missed a lot of time, this season, Ben Scrivens has filled in remarkably, in net, for the Kings, this season. His success is no doubt a big reason why the Kings have been able to remain in the ranks of the elite, without their elite goaltender.
The Blackhawks are looking to rebound from an embarrassing defeat, in Toronto, last night. That defeat followed a total dominance streak, in which the Hawks outscored their opponents by a total of 19-6, in a 3 game winning streak. Patrick Kane has an 8 game points streak, and continues to elevate his game to levels, he hasn’t yet been. Patrick Sharp continues to have his best season of his career, as well. We’d be here all day, if I were to go in depth on how great the individual top-six forwards, on the Blackhawks are doing, this season, but it’s hard not to mention the total complete style of play that Jonathan Toews plays, and how he has a huge impact on every game his appears in.
It would be safe to assume that the Hawks will be going with Antti Raanta, in net, tonight, even though he had a rough night, last night. Raanta has played well, for the Hawks, but his inexperience is a concern, and will be until Corey Crawford is able to return from injury.
A rematch of last season’s Western Conference Finals, a matchup of 2 elite Western Conference teams, and a possible playoff rematch preview. What else could you ask for? This should be a great game!