I actually think this father’s trip is well timed. Chicago, as fairly recent Cup champs present an “up-and-at-’em” type of vibe, not that it has meant much in terms of our recent record against them. The added invigoration of having almost all the dads in attendance can be a very good motivator. Guys always want to show their daddies how good they can do, for either positive pride or Oedipal vengeance. I have to wonder if the group papa parade coinciding with the Kings breaking out of their 2-goal dystopia is anything but directly correlated.

On the Gagne front, if Loktionov can’t up his own ante after a three game benching and an unfortunate miracle for his NHL paycheck, then it won’t be much of a shame if he goes back down whether by quick recovery of Simon or replacement by another. I refuse to accept that Hunter is still being considered as a legitimate option for any role on this team. Call me an optimistic.

Dan Carcillo won’t be playing, which is dandy news for anyone who dislikes overgrown rats on the rink. We almost lucked out with Kane skipping the game, who missed practice yesterday with strep throat, but it seems the pretty boy has lubed his esophagus up all nice and tender like since then. Other than Loki going in on the second line the Kings will look the same, unless Sutter makes another decision at warm-up on for fourth line, just one more in a subtle stream of coaching nuances Darryl has utilized that Murray never considered. That, and things like looking interested in the game and talking to players on the bench. He even admitted to cheerleading last game, that monster.

The Kings have not looked the least bit lazy in their last several games and win or lose, I expect this upward mobility trend to take another step tonight. The Hawks pose quite a threat but their prowess in no way denies our ability to continue the fierce play and assertive forecheck that allowed us to control 40 minutes against Phoenix. Quick, who will probably start in goal, has always bounced back with stronger play when it wanes like it did a bit on Monday. Wax on Jonathan.

That’s all I got. Talk amongst yourselves.

Go Kings Go!