Los Angeles Kings 2015-16 Regular Season:
Game 11 @ Chicago, November 2, 2015, 5:30pm PST
After an explosive end to October that saw them string together seven-straight wins, the Los Angeles Kings open November putting said streak on the line. It won’t be easy, though, as the silver-and-black start off with back-to-back road games, starting on Monday night when they visit the defending Stanley Cup champions, the 6-5-0 Chicago Blackhawks.
Since 2012, only the Kings and Blackhawks have won hockey’s Holiest prize. So, with the Hawks winning it all last year, the Kings want their turn back. While championship aspirations will not be decided on Monday, both teams will at least hope to renew their rivalry the right way.
Monday marks the first of three meetings between the two Western powerhouses. Last season, Chicago took the season series by a 2-1 margin with the home team winning each time. The Kings will look to change that trend.
With wins against a then-unbeaten Wild team a couple of weeks ago to shutting down an resurgent Sharks team in San Jose to edging a red-hot Predators squad on Halloween, the Kings are already showing the rest of the league that they will not be intimidated by their opponents. The Blackhawks, as far as the Kings are concerned, are no exception.
As per usual, the Kings will have to contain a heavy offensive attack which includes Patrick Kane. Through 11 games, Kane leads the Hawks with six goals and 14 points. The Kings have also had difficulty stopping captain Jonathan Toews in the past who, so far this season, has four goals and three assists. But there’s a new face in Chicago that the silver-and-black will have to contain.
Rookie Artemi Panarin is already making a name for himself in the Windy City, trailing only the aforementioned Kane on the club with 10 points (2G, 8A).
For the Kings, their aforementioned seven-game win-streak is the best in the league right now, but the Hawks, despite losing their last two games, are 5-1-0 at the United Center thus far. Needless to say, the Kings have their work cut out for them. However, they have been getting plenty of help from, among others, the line of Jeff Carter, Tyler Toffoli and Milan Lucic.
Toffoli had a memorable October, scoring nine goals in his first 10 games while Milan Lucic is serving as a great new linemate for the youngster as he enters the Madhouse on Madison riding a five-game point streak. Meanwhile, Carter, fresh off his thrilling OT-winner on Saturday, shares the team lead in points with Toffoli with 10.
In goal, Jonathan Quick has been in vintage form for the most part. After losing his first three games, No. 32 now has wins in his last six outings, posting an 0.99 GAA and a .966 save percentage in the first five. Meanwhile in the other net, Hawks will most likely go with Corey Crawford who is 5-3-0 on the year with a sparkling 1.76 GAA and a save percentage of .938.
There are few rivalries that have been more exciting than this one, and on Monday, the Kings and Blackhawks will add to it as fans of both teams hope for a battle to remember.
Enjoy the game!