Unless I Miss My Guess, We’re In For One Wild Night: Canucks & Blackhawks

 

Chicago Blackhawks @ Vancouver Canucks

  7:00 PM PST

Hawks (regular season stats) Canucks
44 Wins 54
29 Losses 19
9 OTL 9
3.07 (4th) Goals/Game 3.15 (1st)
2.68 (T-12th) Goals Against/Game 2.20 (1st)
23.1% (4th) PP 24.3% (1st)
79.2% (25th) PK 85.6% (T-2nd)

Fast Facts

> Eye on the Prize: Vancouver has waited 337 days since Chicago punted them out the second round last May to get this chance. They’re healthy and have a Presidents’ Trophy season of lessons learned they’re bringing to the party this time. Of course that doesn’t negate the drama" Cody Hodgson is our Malhotra, centering a line of PK beast Hansen and flip a coin Raymond. Considering Wellwood/Bernier was such an incredible train wreck last season, it’ll be intriguing to see what these three kids can bring to the table. Glass/Lapierre/Oreskovich is a dependable fourth line that should answer the physicality bell Chicago is bound to rind. On defense we’ll finally see the top six at work in front of a goalie hellbent on succeeding at this level.

> Steal One On The Road: Chicago isn’t your average 8th seed and, while they’re missing 10 players from the Cup parade, the core is still there, including a top line of Toews/Sharp/Hossa that can give the Canucks fit. There’s a good chance they’ll get Brouwer back tonight, which should shift the bottom nine and may lead to a scratch for Smith, Dowell or Pisani. Without Bolland, Toews will get the extra defensive duty while Seabrook/Keith will be drapped over the Sedins all evening; look for Vigneault to get either the Sedins or Kesler line out against their third pairing with the last change at home. The Hawks have played extremely well in Vancouver the past two springs and know if they go home with a split it’s a whole different series come Sunday.

> Impress Your Friends With Knowledge!: Chicago has outscored Vancouver 24-8 in the third period in the past two post seasons. You better believe that trend needs a screeching halt.