Kings can learn from the Blackhawks' past

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Kings can learn from the Blackhawks' past

After a mid-season coaching change, being named the worst offensive team in the league, and suffering from a slump of not being able to score over two goals in a game, the Kings have discovered their team chemistry that was almost non-existant throughout the regular season and will now face either the Rangers or Devils in the Stanley Cup finals.

The Kings have an 12-2 overall postseason record and are 8-0 on the road, making them look close to unstoppable as they fight for their first Cup. They haven't been to the finals since 1993 when they fell to the Canadians 4-1.

But despite all their momentum and power on the ice, the odds aren't in their favor. In fact, other than the Edmonton Oilers back in the late 80s, no other team with a 12-2 record has gone on to win the Cup, including the Blackhawks.

Back in 1992, Chicago finished in second place in the Norris Division with a 36-29-15 record, earning 87 points in 80 games during the regular season.

While competing in the playoffs, they defeated the Blues in six games and swept both the Red Wings and Oilers, also earning themselves a 12-2 record. Even though they looked promising and had strong momentum, they were swept by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Stanley Cup finals.

The same statistics in the first three rounds of the playoffs also led to defeat for the 1995 Red Wings, 2003 Ducks, and 2008 Penguins. The only team to defy those surprising odds were the Oilers in 1987 and 1988.

Now the Kings are playing the waiting game to find out if they'll be facing New York or New Jersey. The Devils currently lead the Eastern Conference finals 3-2, and when looking at the statistics above, they could be the more difficult opponent for Los Angeles. Both the 1995 Wings and 2003 Ducks lost to New Jersey when entering the finals with a 12-2 record, so for Western Conference fans who fear history repeating itself, it would make the most sense to cheer for the Rangers at this point.

Illini, DePaul to play for first time in 60 years as part of November's Gavitt Tipoff Games

Illini, DePaul to play for first time in 60 years as part of November's Gavitt Tipoff Games

Illinois and DePaul haven't played since 1957. Sixty years later, the drought in this series is over.

The Fighting Illini will battle the Blue Demons in an intrastate showdown on Friday, Nov. 18, as part of the Gavitt Tipoff Games, the annual event pitting Big Ten squads against teams from the Big East.

This game between the Illini and Demons, a pair of Land of Lincoln programs with new reasons to be excited, will surely be the highlight of the eight-game event for Chicago-area fans. The two programs have played 18 times but zero since a 75-70 win for the orange and blue in 1957.

Illinois will be playing in one of its first games under new head coach Brad Underwood, hired this spring to replace John Groce, who was fired after a largely unsuccessful five-year tenure in Champaign. Underwood is off to a good start, earning a commitment from the state's Mr. Basketball, Mark Smith.

DePaul, meanwhile, has its own momentum following a recent commitment from Tyger Campbell,  a five-star recruit in the Class of 2018.

The rest of the Gavitt Tipoff Games schedule has plenty of intriguing matchups, as well, including Northwestern playing host to Creighton at Allstate Arena, the Wildcats' temporary home for the 2017-18 season while Welsh-Ryan Arena undergoes a complete renovation.

Take a look at the full slate below:

Monday, Nov. 13
Minnesota at Providence

Tuesday, Nov. 14
Purdue at Marquette

Wednesday, Nov. 15
Butler at Maryland
Creighton at Northwestern
Indiana at Seton Hall

Thursday, Nov. 16
Nebraska at St. John’s
Xavier at Wisconsin

Friday, Nov. 17
DePaul at Illinois

See how one fan completed the ultimate Chicago sports scavenger hunt

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@Pappy_Hour

See how one fan completed the ultimate Chicago sports scavenger hunt

For one day at least, Marc-Louis Paprzyca is Chicago's greatest sports fan.

Paprzyca - known on Twitter as MLP or Pappy_Hour - completed the ultimate Chicago sports scavenger hunt Wednesday to honor Natinoal Scavenger Hunt Day, needing only three hours to accomplish the feat:

He got started early on the South Side:

Then on to The Bean:

Da Bearsss were the next stop:

Next, the North Side:

And the best for last:

What's amazing is how MLP was able to don different Chicago sports attire for every single challenge. He even donned Jordan 11s — the ones MJ wore during the 1996 NBA Playoffs — outside the United Center.

MLP — a blogger for Sports Mockery and three-time winner of Beer Money — won a pair of tickets to attend either a Cubs or Sox game.