Since meeting on Jan. 19 to begin their respective National Hockey League seasons, the Chicago Blackhawks and L.A. Kings have gone in different directions.
The Blackhawks are 11-0-3, atop the Western Conference; the Kings, defending Stanley Cup champions, are 12th in the West, albeit with two consecutive wins.
In fact, it was the Blackhawks who disrupted all the celebratory vibes when the Kings raised their championship banner. Chicago got right to business with a 5-2 win.
“We got them off on the right foot. We take a lot of credit for their success,” said Kings head coach Darryl Sutter told the L.A. Times.
“They’re an awesome team. Two years removed winning a championship with that same nucleus and they’re all healthy….They’re where they are for a good reason. It’s not hard to figure out.”
There still appears to concrete announcement on who will start in goal for the Kings – Jonathan Bernier, who has won the last two games for L.A. in back-to-back starts, allowing a combined two goals in those starts, or Jonathan Quick, last year’s Conn Smythe Trophy winner.
Meanwhile, the Blackhawks remain without a regulation loss, and they are now 15 games into the season.
A win tomorrow and the Blackhawks could tie the 1984-85 Edmonton Oilers for the second best start in NHL history, as broken down Saturday by NHL.com staff writer Tal Pinchevsky.
The 2006-07 Anaheim Ducks have the best start in league history at 12-0-4.
As Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune pointed out: those teams the Blackhawks are chasing won the Stanley Cup.
“Interesting stat,” Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville told the Chicago Tribune.
“(But) I can’t even think like that. Or go that far. We’re very happy with our start. We put ourselves in a real good spot. Let’s go one game at a time.”