Western Conference Finals Preview: Chicago Blackhawks vs. Los Angeles Kings

It’s been another long and painful five days since the Blackhawks eliminated the Wild in the second round of the playoffs, viagra and the wait is finally over. The Western Conference Finals begin this afternoon, right in time to close out the weekend with the hottest team on ice looking to get one step closer to bringing my bff Stanley home once again.

It’s hard to believe that the playoffs are half way over and the Blackhawks just need eight more wins, yes just eight to be the first team to repeat as Stanley Cup Champions since the 1997-1998 Detroit Red Wings.

It’s hard not to get excited, however, we still have plenty of work to be done. The Blackhawks next round opponent are the third seeded Los Angeles Kings. The Kings took out the first seeded Anaheim Ducks in seven games in the last round and they are ready to take on the defending champs.

The Blackhawks will once again receive home ice for this series, which makes me giddy with joy our city will be rocking; will you be part of it? The Blackhawks and the Kings squared off three times this season with the Hawks winning all three. Confident? Hold your horses folks, this is NOT the same Kings team, this is for a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals. Both teams will bring their A games and this is going to be a fantastic series.

Continue on for the must know details and players of the Western Conference Finals.

What You Need to Know:

  • The Kings are the team that won’t die, they have been down in both their series with the Sharks (0-3) and Ducks (2-3) and they came back to win both. This team is relentless and they play to the end.
  • Patrick Kane is on fire – he has six goals in 12 games and his confidence is at an all time high. Look for him to be great in this series.
  • Crawford & Quick

    Crawford & Quick

    I sometimes repeat myself and this is one of those times. A HOT goalie can make or break you in the postseason. This series will feature two goalies who are on a hot streak. Corey Crawford has been clutch, however so has Kings net-minder Jonathan Quick. Look for a goalie battle in this series and both teams forwards trying to figure out how to put the lotion in the basket.

  • The Blackhawks have had five days rest. While the Kings will just have one day to rest those legs. Look for that to help our boys in game 1 and 2.
  • The Kings have been hurting on defense. The Hawks need to take advantage of this. The Kings Robyn Regehr who is a beast and one of the best in the NHL was hurt in Game 1 against the Ducks and hasn’t played since. Willie Mitchell was hurt against the Sharks; and hasn’t played since, either.

Key Players to Watch on the Kings:

  • Marian Gaborik

    Marian Gaborik

    Right Winger: Marian Gaborik: When the Kings acquired Gaborik they got a big player with all the right stuff. Gaborik has not disappointed in the postseason he has nine goals and six assists. He has found superb chemistry with his line and the Blackhawks will need to know where he is on the ice at all times.

  • Right Winger; Justin Williams:
    Justin Williams

    Justin Williams

    Williams has been the breakout star of the Kings postseason if you ask me. He is a big time player and all he does is score and win game 7’s. He is a two way forward that can do it all and he loves to be on the ice for the big plays and big games and I am ok with that, he is very easy on my eyes. Actually a majority of the Kings roster is (Jeff Carter, Mike Richards, etc.).

  • Anze Kopitar

    Anze Kopitar

    Center; Anze KopitarKopitar is one of the best centers in the league and he and his line mate, the previously mentioned Gaborik, have been one of the best lines this postseason. Kopitar is definitely a guy who should get more credit, but I think he likes to fly under the radar. The Blackhawks defense will have their hands full with Kopitar he is the lead scorer in the postseason so far, the boys on the blue line will be busy.

Key Players to Watch on the Blackhawks:

  • Patrick "Mullet" Kane

    Patrick “Mullet” Kane

    Right Winger; Patrick Kane: The power of the “magic mullet”. I can sum this up in two sentences why Kaner is one to watch this series. He is on fire on the score sheet and his moves on the ice will dazzle even the novice fan.

  • Left Winger; Bryan Bickell: Everyone was worried when Bickell was slumping during the regular season, but not this girl. Every player goes through a funk and the only thing that matters is that Bicks
    Bryan Bickell

    Bryan Bickell

    has started to surge when he needs to! Bickell is tied with Kaner on points this postseason and he hasn’t been afraid to use his big body. The Kings injured blue line will need to find a way to shut him down, if they want to stay in this series.

  • Niklas Hjalmarsson

    Niklas Hjalmarsson

    Defenseman; Niklas Hjalmarsson: Hammer has been the standout defenseman this postseason. No disrespect to the top two Keith and Seabs have been great, however Hammer has been everywhere in every play doing the small things that have set him apart. He is fun to watch and his willing to do anything attitude has Chicagoans smiling from ear to ear.

Western Conference Finals Schedule:

All times Central

Game 1, Sunday: Kings at Blackhawks, 2:00 p.m. (NBC)

Game 2, Wednesday: Kings at Blackhawks, 7 p.m. (NBCSN)

Game 3, Saturday, May 24: Blackhawks at Kings, 7 p.m. (NBC)

Game 4, Monday, May 26: Blackhawks at Kings, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)

Game 5, Wednesday, May 28-*: Kings at Blackhawks, 7 p.m. (NBCSN)

Game 6, Friday, May 30-*: Blackhawks at Kings, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)

Game 7, Sunday, June 1-*: Kings at Blackhawks, 7 p.m. (NBCSN)

What’s Next:

It is go time and this is for a trip to go get Stanley for the second straight year. The city is going to be in full force, don’t be the one left out of the party.

The Kings are the team that refuses to give up with out a fight, they have been down in series 0-3 and on the brink of elimination each of their series and came back to win, sound familiar? These guys are not going to be easy and with two HOT goalies Crawford and Quick this is going to be one hell of a series. I predict the Blackhawks will win this series in seven INCREDIBLE games. It’s the Cup, I don’t have to say anything else folks?!?! Go Hawks!

About the author: Victoria L. Olszowy. Co-Founder/Editor-in-Chief. Victoria is a Chicago native who is obsessed with Chicago sports; she bleeds the Maize & Michigan Blue and is an avid fan of the Blackhawks, Cubs, Bears and Bulls. She is excited to be leading SDI into the next iteration and all feedback is welcome! Victoria is a seasoned technology/sports public relations executive at Golin. A lover of the outdoors, Victoria is a competitive runner and just finished her Master’s Degree this past spring. You can contact Victoria at v.kendzierski@sportsdivasinc.com or on Twitter @chisportsdivas or Instagram @victoriakendzie

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