After the Blackhawks were eliminated in Game 5 of the first round of the playoffs against the Phoenix Coyotes, I couldn't help but notice the increasing number of Chicago fans cheering for the Los Angeles Kings.
Now, as the Kings head into the Western Conference finals, it looks like that number will continue to grow throughout the next series.
Here are a few reasons why many Chicago fans are on-board with Los Angeles:
Darryl Sutter: Sutter was brought into the Kings' organization on December 17, 2011 to replace former coach Terry Murray after the Kings were named the worst offensive team in the league. He coached the Kings to a 25-13-11 record, and they finished third in the Western Conference going into the playoffs.
Sutter has attracted plenty of Hawks fans on his own since he played his entire NHL career in Chicago from 1979-1987. He earned 279 points for the Blackhawks in his eight seasons in the Windy City.
Phoenix Coyotes: The Kings are now about to face the Phoenix Coyotes in the Western Conference finals, the same team that knocked the Blackhawks out of the playoffs.
Physicality: The Kings have had a dominant physical presence against both the Canucks and Blues, and they will continue that style of play throughout the postseason since it has earned them an 8-1 record against the first and third overall teams in the league.
After Raffi Torres' vicious hit on Marian Hossa, Blackhawks fans have even more reason to want Phoenix to lose. Although Torres is serving his 25-game suspension, the Kings, led by Dustin Brown, will not let up on the Phoenix roster, continuing to unleash continuous forechecking. Chicago should get plenty of pleasure out of that.
Colin Fraser: Fraser played in Chicago from 2006-2010, helping the Blackhawks to their Stanley Cup victory. This is Fraser's first season in Los Angeles.
For a team that seemed to have been forgotten during much of the regular season, they have quite a bit in common with Chicago, and hopefully, will make the Windy City proud.