CHICAGO -- The Los Angeles Kings were a popular upset pick by many entering the Western Conference finals. And why not, after the defending Stanley Cup champions showed their resilience in series wins over St. Louis and San Jose?
Having spent time with the Kings over the past month, however, I felt entering this series that the Kings were a beat-up squad almost gasping for air after surviving seven games against the Sharks. I have once again been impressed with how they grind out wins, but I picked the Blackhawks in large part because of the fatigue Los Angeles was feeling.
That seems to be bearing out now, and is a good place to start as we examine why the Hawks have a 3-1 series lead over the Kings and the inside track to a berth in the Stanley Cup finals.