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Put The Medals Away. This Is War. Canucks-Blackhawks Preview

Canucks (39-22-2)
Blackhawks (42-16-5)


Time 5:30 PM PST
TV Sportsnet Pacific
Season Series 2 - 1 Canucks
Last Meeting 5-1 Canucks (01-23-10)
The Enemy Second City Hockey Scoring Leaders H. Sedin: 25-58-83     Kane: 26-46-72
Canucks Category Blackhawks
3rd Conference Position 2nd
Last 10 6-3-1
3.19 (3rd)
Goals Per Game 3.16 (4th)
2.48 (7th)
Least Goals Against Per Game 2.35 (2nd)
1.32 (2nd) 5 On 5 GF/GA 1.19 (4th)
21.7% (5th) Power Play %
19.9% (7th)
81% (19th) Penalty Kill %
84.5% (6th)
30.5 (12th) Shots Per Game 34.2 (1st)
29.1 (8th) Least Shots Against Per Game 24.2 (1st)
79.3% (4th) Winning % When Scoring First 76.2% (7th)
86.4% (3rd) Winning % When Leading After 1 76.7% (12th)
47.1% (4th)
Winning % When Trailing After 1 47.6% (3rd)
96.2% (3rd) Winning % When Leading After 2 93.1% (8th)
33.3% (2nd) Winning % When Trailing After2 28.6% (3rd)
51.1% (9th) Faceoffs % 52.4% (3rd)
15.6 (26th) Least PIM's Per Game 11.5 (8th)
+36 (3rd) + / - GF/GA +39 (2nd)

This is the final meeting of the regular season between these 2 teams, and when they face eachother it's a loaded situation. There is no love between the 2 teams and let's face it, Chicago is a measuring stick of sorts for Vancouver. Whether it's from the hair-pulling and the Bieksa-Eager tilt, the Hawks defeating of the Canucks in last year's playoffs, or the current comparisons of the 2 teams all season long and who could beat who in a playoff series this year, this game is loaded and worth checking out. 

I'm typing this before the Sharks play the Habs tonight. Currently Chicago is the top team in the West, tied with San Jose in points, same amount of games played but the Cocks have 2 more wins. Chicago has played 2 games since the Olympics ended: a 5-3 loss to the Islanders and a 5-2 win over the Oilers on Wednesday night. In those 2 games:

-Patrick Lame has 1 goal and 4 assists

-Jonathan Toes has 1 goal and 3 assists

-Dinkan Keith has 3 assists

-Dustin Buttfucklien has 2 goals

-Cryin' Campbell has 1 goal and 1 assist

A look at the comparative stats above shows why the Hawks are as successful as they are. But the same mostly applies to the Canucks. However the Hawks' PP, PK and shots for and against per game stats are the most disturbing. Vancouver is better off to keep this game 5 on 5 as much as possible.

Hopefully the Canucks continue to get scoring from all 3 lines. Have the Sedins awoken from their slumber? 6 points for them combined last game. All assists. Kesler is turning into a road warrior. He has 5 goals and 10 points in the Canucks' last 10 road games. Kyle Wellwood did something on his Olympic holiday...don't know what it was but it's working so far.

You know that Roberto Luongo gets up for a game against Chicago, with the demons of the past perhaps still haunting him and needing to be exorcised. Patrick Kane claimed to have Lou's number during the Olympics but that did not materialize in the gold medal game. How about now?

As great as the Hawks are, the Canucks only have 3 less wins than them.

How about a few videos to get your blood pumpin' a little?

1. Canucks beat Chicago in January

2. Mitchell kills the gods would have it...Malkin took out Mitchell weeks later.

3. The Line Brawl that will never be forgotten from last season:

4. Patrick Sharp knows Andrew Alberts.