Everything Else

king vs evil empire

Game Time: 7:30PM Central
TV/Radio: CSN, NHL Network, SportsNet Affiliates, WGN-AM 720
Dean’s List: The Royal Half, Jewels From The Crown

The Kings and Blackhawks have one of the modern NHL’s true great rivalries, with the two teams alternating Stanley Cup titles over the last four years. But their competitiveness with one another extends to off the ice issues.

While last year’s Hawks team was clouded by rumors and innuendo of off-ice misdoings, the Kings came right out in the open with it by having both the now departed Jarret Stoll and Mike Richards arrested separately for drug possession. And that’s on top of Slava Voynov being essentially convicted and deported for beating the shit out of his wife. However, in a seemingly unending game of one-upsmanship, the Hawks’ highest profile player made himself the subject of a sexual assault investigation, something the Kings were familiar with three years ago with Drew Doughty. But where the case against Doughty was largely forgotten and evaporated through strongarming the victim, Kane was removed from a video game cover and is still under investigation.

It wasn’t just limited to the players, either. After Dean Lombardi allowed Slava Voynov to skate with the team while suspended because he felt like he needed it, John McDonough basically undid a career of evil public relations genius with a single ass-showing press conference at the haven of progressive sexual politics and scandal-free placidity that is Notre Dame. But these are competitive men who have helmed these teams to near dynastic levels of on ice success, and Dean Lombardi was not going to go quietly into the night. Upon reaching an even more dubious settlement after his evil outright termination of Mike Richards’ contract, Lombardi literally shed tears over how he was duped and how wronged he felt by Mike Richards’ addictive spiral with pain killers, as if the bullshit tough guy culture of the sport didn’t basically strong arm him into using them to keep himself on the ice. Lombardi did not feel wronged or duped by Slava Voynov’s violence towards women however, and still holds’ Voynov’s rights should he ever be allowed in the US again, at the very least preventing him from playing for another team.

Even the fans get into the act as well. Whereas Kings fans initially just spouted typical victim-blaming vomit (serious trigger warning), or in the case of most fan-run outlets just forget in the face of Stanley Cups and Norris finalist campaigns about Drew Doughty’s misdoings, Hawks fans took things to another level. Staging rallies, organizing Twitter hashtags, threatening sports radio anchors to the point of calling out of work, or demanding apologies (that are never, ever, EVER fucking coming), they’ve taken the empty-souled fanboy routine to dizzying new heights.

And now with the first meeting of these two teams happening tonight at the United Center, everyone on both sides is surely breathless with anticipation with what the next step in this rivalry will be.

Everything Else

AltLogo at centerpiece-king

Game Time: 8:00PM Central
TV/Radio: NBCSN, TSN (Anglo), RDS (Franco), The Loop 97.9 FM
All I Wanted Was A Pepsi: The Royal Half, Jewels From the Crown, Battle of Cali

And now the scene shifts westward with the Hawks taking a 2-0 series lead onto Figueroa Ave. Sunday’s Game 2 loomed large at the time, as the Kings have yet to lose on home ice this post season, and have won 14 straight at Staples. Based on that, this series is still far from over, as it could very well be tied heading into the weekend. Had the Kings taken one on United Center ice, this could very quickly have looked like an imminent 3-1 hole for the second straight series. But that, they say, is why they play the games.

Everything Else

centerpiece-king vs AltLogo

Game Time: 4:00PM Central
TV/Radio: NBCSN, CBC (Anglo), RDS (Franco), WGN-AM 720, The Loop 97.9FM
Mommy’s Little Monster: The Royal Half, Jewels From The Crown, Battle of Cali

In the next of a series of seemingly preordained matchups in the West, the Kings and Blackhawks will meet for the first time since 1974 in the post season for the right to ignore the Clarence S. Campbell Bowl. Both of these teams have been on similar trajectories after bottoming out in the middle of the previous decade, and already have their names etched in silver recently (as you might have heard). And though this is the first meeting between these iterations of these two teams of consequence, it hardly feels like it will be the last.

Everything Else

For the last two straight seasons, the Stanley Cup champion has been able to emerge with the chalice in spite of the fact that their respective power plays bordered on abominable. In 2011, the Bruins were able to withstand having an only 11.4% conversion rate on the advantage, and last year’s Kings were only marginally better at 12.8%, both historically bad percentages. And unfortunately for the Blackhawks, this year’s Kings don’t appear to be tempting fate by trying the same method that had worked the previous two seasons.

Everything Else

For the last two straight seasons, the Stanley Cup champion has been able to emerge with the chalice in spite of the fact that their respective power plays bordered on abominable. In 2011, the Bruins were able to withstand having an only 11.4% conversion rate on the advantage, and last year’s Kings were only marginally better at 12.8%, both historically bad percentages. And unfortunately for the Blackhawks, this year’s Kings don’t appear to be tempting fate by trying the same method that had worked the previous two seasons.

Everything Else

Everyone is tired: LA Times/Chicago Tribune

Composure is key: Comcast

Western Conference Finals by the numbers: HockeeNight

A “Regular” Dog apparently is a good luck charm: PuckDaddy

A Tender subject: ESPN Chicago

Ready for more moments: Verdi

He is capable: Daily Herald

One day I will sit down and teach myself advanced metrics: Puck Prospectus

While his analysis has gotten better lest we forget his track record:The Hockey Writers

The two league system which must exist:Winnipeg Sun