One may look at this game and think, ‘Oh hey, the defending Cup Champs have lost their last two games, slump slump slump!’

I don’t like that the Chicago Blackhawks have lost their last two games.  This makes me nervous.  However, this, like the last game, is one I can’t watch until long after its over on my DVR, which typically means it will be an exciting Kings’ win.

If you were non-LA-just-pure-hockey-fan looking forward to watching the Hawks top due of Toews-Kane, take a step back.  Due to their respective 3-2 and 4-2 losses to Columbus and St. Louis, which came after narrow victories in the shootout and in overtime against Vancouver and again, St. Louis, the Hawks have made some Terry Murray-esque wholesale changes to their lineup.

Jack Skille will play on their top line with Sharp and Toews.

Brouwer will play on the second line with Kopecky and Hossa.

Kane will play on the third with Bolland and Stalberg.

The 4th line has Fernando Pisani and two other guys you’ve never heard of and hopefully, after tonight, will still be wholly unknown and irrelevant to you.

The most exciting news?

Marty Turco in goal.

It appears no one in Chicago told coach Joel Quenneville that Turco is what you would call, target practice, for the Kings.  Sure, he has a whole new, better team in front of him, but his name is still Marty Tuuuuuuur-COOOOH!  From my nightly fix of NHL On-The-Fly, it appears that Marty’s schizophrenia was not caused by the air in Dallas.  If tonight is like any other, Turco will make some spectacular saves to almost make up for the laughable goals the Kings will score.

Speaking of bad goals, one bad goal from Jonathan Bernier, who gets the start in net tonight, is two too many.  Give the Blackhawks the slightest sniff of blood in this game and the Kings’ could be in for trouble.  The defense and Bernier must be a rock, as the Hawks are unlikely to let go of a lead should the Kings give them any breathing room.  The Kings must be careful not to get sucked into the kind of quick transition, run and gun game they played against Colorado.  The Kings will win or lose this one, like most, on defense and goaltending.

As far as the lineup is concerned, no changes on defense or in the Kings’ top 9 forwards.  Kevin Westgarth will be scratched in favor of Trevor Lewis, who will skate on the 4th line to the right of Kyle Clifford and Andrei Loktionov.  That’s the second scratch in a row for Brayden Schenn.  Should you read into that?  Maybe, but do all of us a favor and don’t… yet.

In summation:

  • Screw the Blackhawks.
  • Turco Sucks.