Chicago Blackhawks vs. Los Angeles Kings - 5/18/14
Los Angeles Kings (46-28-8) at Chicago Blackhawks (46-21-15)
NHL Hockey: Sunday, May 18, 2014 at 3:00 pm (United Center)
The Line: Chicago Blackhawks -140 / Los Angeles Kings +127 --- Over/Under: 5 See the Latest Odds
The Kings and Blackhawks meet up in Chicago on Sunday for game one of the highly anticipated Western Conference finals.
The Los Angeles Kings battled their way through to another game seven victory, their second in as many series of these playoffs, and have scored a berth in the Western Conference finals in the process against the reigning Stanley Cup champions. The Kings ripped off four straight wins in the opening round against San Jose to win that series in unpredictable fashion and then locked up back to back wins against the Ducks including a game seven destruction in Anaheim in which they put up six goals on the Ducks to rightfully earn their place against Chicago. The Kings are a battle tested team and have all the right pieces in place to win the Stanley Cup but in order to be the best you have to beat the best and in this case the Kings have to get through the Hawks who as mentioned won the Cup a year ago. Jonathan Quick has been the team’s anchor but they have received some timely goals and if their offense can continue to roll against a very solid Chicago team they could very well knock of the real “kings” of the ice.
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The Blackhawks have reasserted themselves as a legitimate Stanley Cup favourite and after the upset of the Bruins by the Montreal Canadiens and the Rangers of the Penguins they are the odds on favourite to hoist the Cup for the second straight season. Chicago has faced stiff competition through the first two rounds as they needed six games to dispose of both the St. Louis Blues and the Minnesota Wild who both play a very similar style to the LA Kings but their Western Conference Finals opponent does everything just a little bit better. The Hawks are undefeated at the United Center so far in these playoffs and if they can continue that run here against the Kings than they will book their ticket to the Stanley Cup finals as they possess home ice advantage but the Kings know how to win on the road and stole the first two games against Anaheim last week. This is going to be a great series and one that to me is going to be much better than the Eastern Conference show down between the Rangers and Canadiens and I think it starts with game one. I fully expect this thing to go the distance and while Chicago is favoured I don’t see these teams being as far apart as the line indicates and as such the value lies with the Kings and that’s where I am in the series opener.