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GAME DAY PREVIEW: Canucks vs Blackhawks

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It's what we feared: One of the top 4 Dmen going down with a serious, long-term injury. While I give the Canucks full marks for battling hard, short handed and tired against a rested Ducks team the other night, it's how they will deal with Dan Hanhuis being out of the lineup for months that should have everyone concerned.

Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Time Sunday, 6:30 PST
TV Sportsnet Pacific
Season Series 0-0
Last Meeting
5-2 Blackhawks Jan 29/14
The Enemy Second City Hockey Scoring Leaders H. Sedin: 5-15-20
J. Toews 7-9-16

Canucks
CATEGORY
Blackhawks
13-6-1 SEASON RECORD 12-7-1
27 Points 25
5th Conference Position 7th
OT 1
Streak Won 3
2.95 (6)
Goals For Per 60 (GF60)
2.95 (8)
2.95 (22)
Goals Against Per 60 (GA60)
2.00 (1)
19.4 (16) Power Play % 19.5 (15)
85.9 (7) Penalty Kill % 90.0 (2)
48.4 (21) Faceoff Win % 52.7 (5)
11.0 (20) PIM / GP 8.0 (2)
50.9 (15) Corsi For % 57.3 (1)
99.3 (20) PDO 100.8 (9)

It was pretty ridiculous how badly things started for the Canucks in that much hyped game against He Who Bailed and the Anaheim Ducks. 2 goals and a serious looking injury to #1 defenceman Dan Hamhuis. While Hamhuis has struggled at times this season, this is a massive blow to the Canucks, and with the news that the time frame for his return is measured in months, it's pretty clear that they'll need to do more than call up Frank Corrado from Utica.

They've gotten off to a decent start, but it's certainly beginning to parallel last season, where the Canucks came charging out of the gate til injuries and coaching hobbled them. That's not to say that Willie Desjardins and his staff have been anything like the unmitigated disaster that was the John Tortorella era, but this is certainly the biggest test yet for the rookie coach, and in turn for rookie GM Jim Benning. Will he try to fix the problem internally, or use the cap relief that comes from having Hamhuis on LTIR and try and secure some help for a Canucks blue line that struggled at times even when healthy?

The Blackhawks come into this winners of 3 straight, and fresh off a 7-1 humiliation of the lowly Edmonton Oilers. I'd like to think the Canucks, who haven't played since Thursday, can take advantage of a tired Chicago team, but I don't think they will get that lucky. They are getting awesome goaltending from Corey Crawford this season, and the trio of Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa are always a threat. They sit 7th in the conference, but considering the log jam that is the West (as usual), that's hardly an indication there's something wrong.

The Canucks will need to stay focused and not get caught up in the emotion that has been known to bubble up between these two teams, and not give guys like Bryan Bickel and Daniel Carcillo an opportunity to get under their skin. Both squads are great on special teams, and it's at 5 on 5 where this game will be won or lost for the Canucks, so...

we're screwed

One positive note is that tonight's match will be Daniel Sedin's 1000th career game in the NHL. He would have reached this milestone earlier had it not been for that scumbag Duncan Keith. No, I will not let that go. The Hawks will still be without Patrick Sharp, and Andrew Shaw is currently day to day. It's likely Antti Raanta will start for Chicago, while Ryan Miller will get the nod for the Canucks. The Canucks may be without Alex Burrows once again, after he missed Thursday's game with an upper body injury, and Ryan Stanton will replace (not really) Hamhuis, meaning Corrado likely won't dress tonight.

GAME DAY BATTLE HYMN

Back to the 80's for a band that I have always dug. Here's some Prong for ya with 'For Dear Life' as we prepare for a scary ride without Hammer...

GAME TIME SNACK BONANZA

Because sometimes when the game is on, you need finger food, amirite?

eww

Or, not...

Impromptu Drinking Games Rules

ice on the rocks

- 1 Drink: A charging call on Daniel Carcillo.

- 1 Drink: They've Slain The Dragon!.

- 2 Drinks: A shot of Jonathan Toews NOT frowning.

- 2 Drinks: A facewash/crosscheck post-whistle on the Sedins.

- 3 Drinks: Sbisa goal.

- 3 Drinks: Another injury...

Parting thoughts from Muscle Man

Muscle Man: You know who else has the best tacos in the city?
Rigby: Dude, Benson will blow a fuse if he finds out we were slacking off!
Muscle Man: You know who else would blow a fuse if she found out we were slacking off?
Mordecai: We don't have time for this!
Muscle Man: You know who else doesn't have time for this!?
Mordecai and Rigby: UGH!!
Muscle Man: You know who else says "ugh"?! MY MOM!!!!


my mom
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