In our first podcast, for some reason (read: alcohol) I mentioned that no one on the Kings roster really scared me. Look no further than that for proof that I'm an idiot. Anze Kopitar might not be in the race for the scoring title like he was at the start of the year but he's still a monster. If you weren't in love with Drew Doughty before the Olympics, chances you are now. The Kings are a sneaky good team that will certainly be a candidate for an upset in the first round of the playoffs - unless of course they end up catching the Coyotes and grabbing the 4th spot.
This isn't really a team you want to see when you have the question mark that currently is the Blackhawks goalie. Antti Niemi will get the start and he did have some success against the Kings the only time he faced them.. of course that was last year when the Kings were a pretty different team. The Kings are coming off a dismantling of the Blue Jackets on Monday where their power play scored on half the opportunities they were given and their defense held the BJs to just 11 shots, not even the Hawks at their best came close to that so far this season.
If we see the sloppy Hawks defensive play continue into this game, the Kings aren't a team that will miss many of their chances. While only a few of their players will really stand out, none are really a glaring weakness. Jonathan Quick may only be 2-4-0 against the Hawks in his career so far but he's posting an impressive .916 SV% against the boys in red.
Not exactly what you want to see for a team that's facing some adversity lately, is it? As I mentioned in the post below though, the Hawks will be getting some very welcomed energy from the return of Adam Burish tonight. It's no surprise that he's already running his mouth about getting out there and hitting people - and it's of less surprise that we're glad to hear it. The Kings do have a goon in Raitis Ivanans who could likely send Burish back on the IR if they chose to drop the gloves so Burish should keep his head up if the Kings choose to dress this neanderthal... but he hasn't played since the second of this month so who knows if he'll skate today. Wayne Simmonds is the Kings next leading player and while he probably could still mop the floor with Burish, they're at least in the same weight class.
As usual, Sam and his cronies will be outside the UC selling the Committed Indian before the game and you have no excuses not to buy one. If you're not going to the game - check out the links on the left where you can buy an electronic copy for today's issues.