I’m looking forward to tonight’s big match-up between the Vancouver Canucks and their nemesis the Chicago Blackhawks for a few reasons. I’m intrigued to see how Roberto Luongo plays against his arch-rivals as the fascinating goaltending saga goes on. I’m eager to see if guys like Zack Kassian and Keith Ballard can keep up their strong play. I’m looking forward to some quality time with my lovely wife Gail (who patiently puts up with my blogging shenanigans). And I wonder if there will be any retribution for Duncan Keith for his dirty hit on Daniel Sedin at the end of last season.
Just 21 months ago, I witnessed the same two teams clash in the best game that I’ve ever seen live. Of course, I’m talking about game 7 in the first-round of the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs. There had been so much drama and unrest leading up to game 7 as the Blackhawks had won three straight games to tie the series and bring the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Canucks to the brink of elimination. There were questions about the officiating and questions about the Canucks goaltending (apparently the more things change the more they stay the same). In fact, Roberto Luongo had been pulled in both games 4 and 5 before Cory Schneider was given the surprise start in game 6. Schneider then was pulled in game 6…but due to injury. Add in the fact that the Blackhawks had eliminated the Canucks in the second-round the two previous years and you can see why the game meant so much.