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posted: 6/4/2013 5:30 AM

Small, quick Hawks too much for L.A. Kings

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  • Blackhawks center Andrew Shaw celebrates his first-period goal against the Los Angeles Kings during Game 2 of the NHL Western Conference finals at the United Center Sunday night in Chicago.

      Blackhawks center Andrew Shaw celebrates his first-period goal against the Los Angeles Kings during Game 2 of the NHL Western Conference finals at the United Center Sunday night in Chicago.
    John Starks | Staff Photographer

 
By Mike North
The Rebel Inside

With the way they have established their dominance over the Los Angeles Kings, I believe the Blackhawks are on their way to the Stanley Cup Finals.

I thought the toughest series would be against the Detroit Red Wings, who were almost good enough to knock out the Hawks.

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When the Hawks went up 4-0 in the second period of Sunday's game, Kings star goalie Jonathan Quick was suddenly gone, raising plenty of doubt in everyone's mind including Quick himself. Once the Kings pulled their goalie, their confidence and mind set had to have changed.

As the Blackhawks go into Game 3 up 2-0 on Tuesday, the Kings have to be feeling a little shell shocked.

I was puzzled by people worrying about the size of the Kings because the Hawks proved throughout the year they can adjust to any type of play. If the Kings are the big physical team, the Hawks proved in 2013 it is better to be small and quick than big and slow.

With their number one goalie doubting himself, Hawks fans, are unexpectedly getting acquainted with the number two goalie Jonathan Bernier.

Winning in L.A. won't be easy, however. The Kings might be 1-7 on the road in the playoffs, but they have won 14 in a row at home -- seven of those in the playoffs -- so they play tough at home.

Look for the Hawks split in Los Angeles and return to Chicago up 3 games to 1. They'll finish the Kings off at the United Center on Saturday.

Go Hawks.

Bad baseball around town:

Soon after the Blackhawks are done with their season and the NBA playoffs are over, there will be a small and not-so-pretty window when baseball will be the focus.

The White Sox went into Monday night's game at Seattle six games under .500 while the Cubs are nine games under.

When you're the manager of the White Sox and you continue to bat a .150 hitter fourth or fifth, you have to take the blame. I don't care who you bat 3-4-5-6, whether it's Conor Gillaspie or Alexei Ramirez, but it shouldn't be Adam Dunn -- he should be seventh or eighth in the lineup.

I know he's getting paid $15 million, but it defies logic to expect a turn around.

Hey, I don't think Dunn would complain -- he knows he's struggling. He just shouldn't continue to bat fourth like he's Miguel Cabrera.

On the North Side, futility continues to reign, but at least the Cubs can say they beat the Sox in three straight games. Their stars of the future are looking a little dim right now -- shortstop Starlin Castro is hitting .258 while first baseman Anthony Rizzo is counting his money and looking at a .256 batting average.

Can we expect a turnaround for either team anytime soon? Bears training camp can't come quick enough!

Program note:

Catch me on "Mancow" on WPWR Channel 50 at 6 a.m. Wednesday, Friday and Monday.

• Mike North's column appears each Tuesday and Friday in the Daily Herald, and his video commentary can be found Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at dailyherald.com. For more, visit northtonorth.com.

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