Home Ice Key in Western Conference Finals

The Los Angeles Kings are 7-0 at the Staples Center this playoffs. It could be because Daryl Sutter has played the matchups with the last change. It could be because the Blues and Sharks struggled to score against Jonathan Quick. Maybe the Blues and Sharks were so annoyed by the South Park character saying “go Kings go” during the games that it affected their play. The Kings were 16-4 in the playoffs last year, losing three at home. This year they are perfect in Southern California.

On the road the Kings are 1-5. They lost two heartbreakers in Game 1 and 2 of the Blues series, but responded with four straight wins including Game 5 in overtime in St. Louis. The Kings had no luck in Northern California losing an overtime game and two more one goal games. Quick was fantastic in the away games against the Sharks, but the Kings couldn’t score.

Now the Kings travel to Chicago to start the Western Conference Finals. The Blackhawks are 6-1 at the United Center this playoffs and 2-3 away from the Madhouse of Madison.

The upcoming back-to-back games this Saturday and Sunday could be a huge factor to determine how the series will go. The Blackhawks must win at the very least one out of the first two games at home. Coming off a series where they had difficultly scoring on Jimmy Howard, the Blackhawks need to to figure out how to  score on an even better goalie in Quick.

Check Twitter later for both my conference finals picks.