In a rematch of the 2013 Stanley Cup Western Conference Finals, the (P3) Los Angeles Kings and (C3) Chicago Blackhawks will meet in a matchup that pits the last two Stanley Cup Champions against each other in this edition of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoff Predictions.
No team has been able to repeat as champions in 16 years, since Scotty Bowman and the Detroit Red Wings won back-to-back sweeps in the Finals in 1997 and 1998.
Chicago won the series last season 4-1.
The Hawks have dominated in most of their meetings together and look to use their deadly speed to create chances and propel them into their second straight Stanley Cup Finals.
The Kings are coming off of winning Game 6 and 7 to eliminate the Anaheim Ducks while the Blackhawks ended their series against the Minnesota Wild in 6 games.
While Jonathan Quick had a slow start to the 2014 Playoffs, he has since turned it all around in a big way. Quick has only given up 20 goals in the last 11 games. On the other end, Corey Crawford has dispelled any thoughts about his skills with his .931 save percentage that is tied for the best in the Playoffs.
I think this series will come down to how Los Angeles does on the special teams. Against Anaheim, the penalty kill was very effective towards the end of the series but largely ineffective during the middle. They can’t afford to hit a slump on the PK against Chicago, a team that could burn them to the ground.
The Kings have also been productive lately on the powerplay, but they are facing a very successful penalty kill that the Blackhawks possess.
The team that dominates the special teams have the tools to win this series.
2014 Stanley Cup Playoff Prediction Score – .5 for correct # of games, .5 for correct winner
After being blanked in the second round of the East matchups, I dropped from a 4.5/8 to a 4.5 out of 10.
- I had picked Chicago to take care of the Wild in 6 games, and I earn a full point for that – 5.5/11
- I had picked the Kings to take it to 7 games, but had Anaheim winning – 6/12
For this series, I am going to pick the Blackhawks to advance.
CHI in 6 games.