Canucks At Blackhawks Preview: Everything's Fine

That's the sound of a dragon being slain and no I will never shut up about it.
Time Friday, 5:00 PST
TV TSN, NHLN-US, RDS2
Season Series 1-0 Hawks
Last Meeting
2-1 Hawks Nov. 23/13
The Enemy Second City Hockey Scoring Leaders D. Sedin: 11-21-32
Kane: 20-26-46
CANUCKS
CATEGORY
HAWKS
20-11-6 SEASON RECORD 25-7-5
46 POINTS 55
7th CONFERENCE POSITION 1st
Lost 2
STREAK Won 2
7-2-1 LAST 10 6-3-1
10-6-3 ROAD RECORD / HOME RECORD 12-2-4
2.70 (12)
GOALS PER GAME AVERAGE 3.62 (1)
2.32 (6) GOALS AGAINST PER GAME AVERAGE 2.68 (15)
1.15 (9) 5 ON 5 GF / GA 1.42 (3)
15.4 (23) POWER PLAY % 24.6 (3)
89.8 (1) PENALTY KILL % 74.6 (28)
32.3 (4) SHOTS/GAME AVG 33.2 (2)
51.2 (13) FACEOFF WINS % 51.1 (14)
708 (26) HITS
649 (28)
557 (8) BLOCKED SHOTS 467 (21)
133 (17) MINOR PENALTIES TAKEN 126 (9)
NHL.COM

Is there still a Canucks-Blackhawks rivalry going on? Yes. How much of a rivalry? That depends on who you ask. Time passing affects it. Newer playoff adversaries like Los Angeles and San Jose affect it. The Hawks not having shit disturbers like Byfuglien, Bolland, Brouwer, Eager, Ladd and Burish really affects it. Now, there's less violence and trash-talking. It's mostly skill on display when these teams play. The intensity is there, but not like it used to be.

A very random example (heheh): Markus Kruger goes from being Dan Hamhuis' you-know-what:

......to making Lou and the Canucks his you-know-what, scoring the winner last time these teams met:

2 goals in 9 seconds ruin a masterful performance by Luongo. The boxscore, specifically the list of penalties for that game read off like a milk and cookies pajama party.

Oh well. At least they still have Duncan Keith, so we still can really hate them, right? We can hate Toew's pouty face? It's hard to hate Patty Kane. He just kicks so much ass. Even he and Lou have a friendly on-ice joke / competition going when these teams play.

I gotta point out again that the Canucks' hit totals continue to plummet in the standings. This disappoints me in the sense that I like, no love hockey hits. I didn't expect a John Tortorella team to play with so much finesse. Torts turned Dale Weise into a Sedin. WTF.  But hey, I like wins too. I just want it all. Is that too much to ask? I want an 82-0 record so that I can smile and laugh more than I do. It keeps the depression at bay.

Bottom line though, I hope the Canucks aren't going to cool off too much after losing their 2nd straight on Thursday night. The season has its ups and downs, generally, (unless your Chicago), and the loss to Dallas was the Canucks' first regulation loss in 9 games. Hell yes, it was an excellent run. Maybe a game against the Hawks will kickstart them.

-In the 11 regulation losses this season, the Canucks have scored 1 goal or less 8 times. 8 times.

-The Canucks are 0-1-1 since beating Boston. Can you smell the narrative yet? I can't.

How about: The Canucks are 0-1-1 with Tom Sestito in the lineup. THAT I can buy into!

-The Canucks are 5-3-0 in the second games in back-to-back situations this season.

-The Canucks are 1-0-2 in Chicago since this happened:

KNOW YOUR ENEMY

The Hawks are 12-2-4 at the Madhouse on Madison. Patty Kane's 46 points are second to Crosby's 51. His 20 goals rank him 4th. Duncan Keith's 29 assists rank him 5th.

TOP 5 HAWKS SCORERS

1. Kane: 20-26-46

2. Sharp: 16-18-34

3. Toews: 13-20-33

4. Keith: 3-29-32

5. Hossa: 14-16-30

PROJECTED BLACKHAWKS ROSTER

Sharp - Toews - Hossa

Versteeg - Handzus - Kane

Saad - Shaw - Bickell

Bollig - Kruger - Smith

Keith - Seabrook

Oduya - Hjalmarsson

Leddy - Brookbank

In goal: Antti Raanta

Injured: Nikolai Khabibulin and Corey Crawford. Like it really matters. Hawks kick ass.

YOU MADE MY SHITLIST

Too soon. But gotta point out that Henrik Sedin has 5 points in 9 games in December, so he's gonna start rolling soon. Kevin Bieksa has no goals and 2 assists in his last 15 games. Brad Richardson has 2 assists in his last 7 games and 1 goal and 2 assists in his last 13 games. Just sayin'.

SCORE-PREDICTING WIZARDS UPDATE

Will be updated after the Chicago game. The list of masters can be seen here.

The title of this game preview post has been brought to you by Tracy Bonham:

Everything is fine. Hawks are going down. John Tortorella is chill and coolin', so I am chillin' and coolin'. But I wouldn't blame you if you were a little bit nervous about this one. This is an ultimate challenge for the Canucks.

GO CANUCKS GO!

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