Over the past few seasons Vancouver and Chicago have cultivated quite the rivalry.
It was initiated through three consecutive seasons facing each other in the playoffs, with Chicago owning the advantage up 2-1 in series and 11-8 in total playoff games.
Blackhawks-Canucks An On- and Off-Ice Rivalry
Those series have been some of the best playoff hockey series in recent years, with the 2010 Hawks coming back from being down 2-1 to win the series in 6 games and eventually the Cup. Then last year, Vancouver nearly squandered a 3-0 series lead only to win it in dramatic fashion in Game 7 with an Alex Burrows OT goal.
Usually tense rivalries come from division opponents, but since Vancouver and Chicago have faced off 33 times over the past three years, the two teams have been able to develop what is arguably the best rivalry in hockey today.
The rosters have changed substantially since the rivalry began. Gone from Chicago are Burish, Byfuglien, Ladd, Versteeg, and Eager while O’Brien, Mitchell, Glass, Torres and unfortunately Rick Rypien have left the Canucks; but the hatred between these two squads is just as tense as its ever been.
And the rivalry is not just on the ice. The two teams have battled off the ice as well.
In an interview, Hawks center David Bolland referred to the Daniel and Henrik as “the Sedin sisters,” and followed that up by saying, “they probably sleep in bunk beds.” Hawks goon Daniel Carcillo also called out a bunch of Canucks past and present the day he was signed by Chicago at a press conference.
More Fuel Added To Blackhawks-Canucks Fire
More fuel was added to the fire on Wednesday Night in Chicago when defenceman Duncan Keith laid out Daniel Sedin with a vicious elbow to the face as Sedin turned around trying to locate a loose puck. The elbow was in retaliation to a rare but clean hit by Sedin earlier in the period.
Keith only received a two minute minor penalty for the infraction and remained in the game while Sedin, the team’s leading scorer, did not return. Keith will be lucky to get away without a suspension and will probably looking at around a two to three games for the elbow.
Later in the game tensions boiled as Vancouver was looking for redemption targeting Keith. A scrum broke out midway through the 2nd period leading to 40 minutes in penalties, 12 of which went to Keith for an altercation with Burrows. Chicago ended up prevailing in OT, taking the game 2-1 with Andrew Shaw scoring the winner.
It’s undeniable that Vancouver will be looking for revenge and will have some time to stew about this one. Losing your leading scorer is a cause for concern and the Canucks shouldn’t be expected to take this one layng down.
Unfortunately for those hockey fans with blood lust, this was Vancouver and Chicago’s last regular season matchup, which means the Canucks won’t be able to take vengeance until the post-season, if the two teams are o meet.
As it stands right now Vancouver sits comfortably in 2nd and Chicago in 6th, which means that the two teams probably won’t play each other until the second round at the earliest, but most likely the third round if their respective seeding doesn’t change and they defeat their first and second round opponents.
If the teams do meet for their 4th playoff matchup in as many years, expect sparks to fly. We might be witness to the most intense series to date between these two Western Conference rivals and be in store for yet another gripping display of playoff hockey.