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Kane and Toews aren't Jake and Elwood -- Blackhawks @ Canucks

It's story time. I live across the border in a semi-small city called Bellingham, in the great state of Washington. We recently opened up a Boston's Pizza franchise simply named "Boston's" but you can tell the place draws heavily from it's Canadian counterpart. The lead manager is a dude named Brad, who is a gigantic Canucks fan. We're talking throwback flying-V jersey style fan here.

During game six of the WC semis I went there in hopes the Canucks would somehow extend the series and bring it all back to Vancouver. The first bad omen was that Boston's HD feed was Chicago's Comcast Sportsnet feed, which meant I had to hear the Chicago announce crew all game long. A mild-mannered guy sat next to me at the bar, eating dinner. As it turns out he was a Chicago fan. During the last six minutes of the game he was singing "Hey, Hey, Hey, Goodbye" into his cellphone while eating spaghetti. A really cute waitress I was trying to do voodoo on went home with ANOTHER Blackhawks fan. This happened.  It was all Chicago's fault, and I never thought I could be more pissed off at one specific facet of hockey.

Then Ron MacLean opened his big mouth and attacked Alexandre Burrows' integrity. Then he told the city of Vancouver they're a bunch of idiots, but in a long winded, "Maybe, the more I say to these people, the less they'll understand" sort of way. The NHL Network piles on after the Canucks take one from the Oilers in OT. This past two weeks approaches Blackhawks territory of anger.

Now, hoping MacLean apologizes and said what he did was irresponsible and wrong tonight during pre-game is like expecting Kelly Clarkson to write a hit song about losing weight and loving life. However,  the Canucks do have a chance to beat the Blackhawks and make all that craziness go away, proving to the NHL landscape the only important hockey to be played in Vancouver won't be all over at the end of February. Can Burrows perform some more of his magic, with or without the help of his somewhat obscure linemates? Is this the last stop on the Bernier redemption tour or the first stop on the Baumgartner express? Will we see Rick Rypien throw up on a defender tonight? And can you actually spell Dustin Byfuglien's name without looking at it?

The Canucks have this weird sensation of playing down to their opponents. Can they answer the bell and "Play Up" to the one of the best the West has to offer? Only time will tell. Enjoy your Saturday morning then drink up when you hear Ron MacLean talk about how great he is -- you'll be lathered up and ready to roll when the puck drops at GM Place.

--GoodKeith

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