LA Kings (even) @ Chcago Blackhawks (the Kings' record next year)
12:00 PST, Fox Sports West
Remember how I pointed out last season that the whole "Play your division 8 times each" thing was making the Kings look worse than they actually were? Now, when the Kings are actually not that bad, the league switches it so the Kings only get to play their division 6 times. I knew that was going to happen. Would the Kings have made the playoffs if they kept the old system? Yes, 100%. Is this a conspiracy to make the 2nd biggest market in the league non-competitive? Absolutely.
I was thinking about next season after I wrote my little "Next Season" post and I can't quite figure out where the Kings will need to sign someone. The Kings are pretty much set, with the only open spots at 4th line center and 3rd pairing defenseman. Brian Boyle and Thomas Hickey/Colten Teubert are pretty likely to take those spots. The Kings are right where Dean Lombardi wants them to be, where they have accumulated enough assets to use a few of them in a trade. Even if the Kings aren't making a trade so they can make the playoffs, look for the Kings to be actively searching for a gamebreaking player for next season.
Patrick Kane looks like a girl.
Prediction: Kings win, 5-4. Goals by Kopitar (x5).