The slumping Los Angeles Kings play host to the Chicago Blackhawks Saturday night. With the aid of the newly aquired Jeff King, can the Kings drop the title of hte lowest scoring team in the NHL, or will Chicago snuff their attempts?

The Los Angeles Kings stole headlines on Thursday when they traded for Columbus Blue Jackets forward Jeff Carter. Goal scoring has been a problem all season long as the Kings are the lowest scoring team in the league, but Carter is a former 40-goal scorer that could address those concerns. The concern is that Carter has been disgruntled all season long and might not be the player he once was in Philadelphia. 

Fans, bettors and touts all expected the Kings to be Stanley Cup contenders this season and while their defense and goaltending have been up to snuff, their impotent offense has been their Achilles heel all season long. 

So is he the missing piece or are the Kings trying to force something that’s really not there. 

Saturday, February 25th

Chicago BlackhawksAt the time of writing, sportsbooks have not released the NHL odds. However, we are going to go ahead and breakdown this matchup to get a jump on the NHL betting lines. Find out why we are adding the Chicago Blackhawks to our NHL picks Saturday evening.

The Chicago Blackhawks can win because… 

The Kings are still slumping and a roll of the dice might not pan out. Let’s face it: the Kings have been a low scoring team for years and adding another piece may or may not help. The Kings added Dustin Penner at the trade deadline last year, then added Mike Richards and Simon Gagne in the offseason. Even with that, they’re still the lowest scoring team in the NHL

For now, we can’t deal with “maybes” and “what ifs”. The reality is that the Kings have lost four straight and eight of 10. 

The Hawks have won four of five and even though they are coming off a loss on Thursday, effort wasn’t the culprit. The Stars won 3-1 in Chicago and the goals came off unfortunate deflections and turnovers. Chicago still played well defensively as they have over the last five games.

The Los Angeles Kings can win because…

Carter is exactly what they need. Sure, he slumped in Columbus, but who wouldn’t? The Jackets were supposed to be an improved, up-and-coming team when they acquired Carter in the offseason but instead, they are the worst team in the NHL. It’s no wonder Carter slacked off. 

Los ANgeles KingsIn Los Angeles, Carter gets thrown right back into the playoff race on a team that’s good enough to win the Cup – believe it or not. Goaltender Jonathan Quick  is having a Vezina caliber season and the Kings defense is solid – even after trading away Jack Johnson. What they need is more firepower up front and Carter provides exactly that. 

He’ll be reunited with his former teammate and friend Mike Richards, which should also help him get going. Richards has just 31 points through 53 games and the Kings were clearly expecting more. If the addition of Carter sparks Richards too, then the Kings have really hit it big. 

If Carter is the catalyst, the Kings can get on a roll and they’re not going to be a team anyone wants to face in the playoffs. 

Outlook & NHL Betting Prediction: 

Trend-wise, the Kings are an odd team. They’re not great at home (15-13-4) but also not great on the road (12-9-8). Currently, they’re the 10th best team in the West, but their -6 goal differential suggests they are better than that. 

Saturday’s matchup is all about Carter. Even if he’s not a huge factor on the ice, the move to get him is a big boost and should be encouraging to the players. Johnson will be missed, but not so much as he had the worst plus-minus on the team. 

The Blackhawks are a weak road team (12-15-3) and their power play has yet to tally a goal since the All-Star break (0-for-31). Throw in the fact that Jonathan Toews (upper body) may miss the game and there is good reason to take the Kings to end their losing streak and get a statement win.

NHL Picks: Kings