After their disappointing shootout loss on Saturday, the Chicago Blackhawks have an opportunity to take out their frustrations against a familiar punching bag, the Los Angeles Kings. The Hawks are 2-0 against the Kings this season, and despite the play of Sochi-bound Jonathan Quick, the Kings’ scoring drought gives the Blackhawks an opportunity to right the ship.
In a sense, this is a matchup of two struggling teams. The Blackhawks are struggling with inconsistency, and the Kings are struggling on offense. The Kings have only scored three goals in as many games, all scored by Slovenian Olympian Anze Kopitar. They haven’t given much for Jonathan Quick to work off of, and the potential USA starting goalie is 1-6-1 in his last eight games. The Kings themselves are 1-7-1 in their last nine games.
As for the Hawks, they blew a big chance to escape bad habits that have cost them against the San Jose Sharks. They were sloppy, played bad defense and did not score when it mattered, especially in the shootout. Their offense is struggling as well, despite a 5-2 pasting of the Vancouver Canucks. Bryan Bickell has been struggling, but says that he could use his anger to snap out of his funk. Patrick Kane is also struggling, which is especially bad since he’s the Hawks’ biggest offensive producer.
The Hawks and Kings will be looking for ways to get out of their respective slumps. The Hawks should not let the Kings’ offensive struggles lure them into a false sense of security. Said false sense of security has been their downfall in recent games, especially against the Winnipeg Jets. If the Hawks can beat the Kings, then it’s another step in the right direction that is so badly needed.