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The Once and Future Kings: L.A. @ Chicago Game Preview

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OPPOSITION BLOG: Battle of California
DON’T FORGET:  YOUR SPG PICKS - remember the New Rule too

We're no fan of afternoon hockey here.  It really hurts the recovery from the night before when you have to wake up early to get a preview up of a game that starts at 2:00.. which is an ungodly hour on a sunday.  Once football season ends I don't expect to be up before 3:00.  I guess it's something I'll have to get used to though since every single sunday this month has a game and only one of them starts in the evening.

Much like the Wild, Blues and Preds - the Kings are a team that seem to have the Hawks number this year.  The teams have met twice this year and both games ended with the same score, Kings 5 - Hawks 2.  Now both of those teams were in LA and the Hawks are notoriously bad in California so it remains to be seen how they'll fare out here at the UC.

I'm going to guess that the main problem has been that LA has scored first in both games against the Hawks this year which of course means the Hawks have been subjected to the worst goal song in the NHL - Randy Newman's "I Love LA".  After hearing that abomination, who could ever realy want to play hockey?  Thankfully, that song won't be heard this afternoon.

The Kings are a young team loaded with talent who just aren't quite there yet.  They're 13th in the conference and are probably missing the playoffs again this year.  Don't expect them to be among the first to break out the golf clubs in a year or two though. 

This might be a good time to catch the Kings as they are 1-4-0 in the last 5 games.  They've been outscored 7 to 15 in those games and are now on the tail end of a 5 game road trip.  I would also expect the Hawks to be pissed from Friday's game and eager to finally beat a team that has embarrassed them so far this year. 

We're going to get our first real look at Niemi today.  He wasn't really tested against the Pens until OT where he obviously let one past him.  The Kings are a low scoring team but do put pucks on the net frequently so Niemi will get his chances to show what he's got. 

That's all I got for you now - I need some coffee and something greasy to eat.  See you in the comments.

Lets Go Hawks