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PHT Predicts: Canucks vs. Blackhawks — Who do you have?

Apr 11, 2011, 6:15 PM EDT

Chicago Blackhawks v Vancouver Canucks Getty Images

If this seems like a bad dream that you’re seeing on repeat for the third straight year, chances are you’re a Vancouver Canucks fan. Three years in a row now these two teams have faced each other in the playoffs and the Blackhawks drove Roberto Luongo and the Canucks insane the last two years. Now Vancouver is poised to be a champion after dominating the NHL all season.

It makes perfect and poetic sense that they’re playing each other in the first round this year. For Vancouver, to be the champs they have to beat the champs first and foremost and they can do it with the likes of Henrik Sedin, Daniel Sedin, and Ryan Kesler. Chicago counters with their championship stars in Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Marian Hossa, and Patrick Sharp. With Roberto Luongo being the veteran going up against a rookie in Corey Crawford in goal, there’s a lot more eerie resemblances to last year going on than you’d think.

As for how we see things shaking out, we’re thinking an exorcist is in the back pocket of Vancouver.

James says:
If this were the Stars, I’d ponder tabbing the Canucks for a sweep. Yet the Blackhawks have been beyond nuisance for Vancouver; they’ve been a crisis. Yet if you want to win the Cup in style, why not beat the team that tormented you the most? The Canucks are way too deep to lose to the Blackhawks again.

And you know what? I get the feeling they would have won against the Detroit Red Wings if they were in Chicago’s shoes.

It’s the Canucks in 5 with Ryan Kesler earning more than his fair share of early Conn Smythe speculation.

Matt says:
Congratulations Vancouver! As a reward for first Presidents’ Trophy and best season in franchise history, you’ll get the defending Stanley Cup champions. Oh yeah, they just happen to be the team that’s knocked you out for each of the last two seasons. All that being said, put me in the camp of people who think this year will be different. The Blackhawks depth and Dustin Byfuglien were the two major determining factors the last two seasons—and they’re both gone. Canucks exorcise some playoff demons by taking the series in 6.

Joe says:
If I bought into jinxes and curses and other sorts of mystical mayhem, I’d be really tempted to take Chicago in this series. After all, they’ve shown the ability to own Luongo and the Canucks won the Presidents’ Trophy for the best record in the NHL. Pairing those things up would surely mean Chicago would win. I’d also believe in leprechauns and unicorns too. Such isn’t the case and Vancouver is going to rock Chicago’s face in this series. The Canucks continued to pound on teams when they had nothing to play for while Chicago couldn’t win a must-win game on Sunday. Canucks in 5 and they make it look easy.

Think that we’ve got no faith in the defending champs and you want to rub our faces in it? Go ahead and vote in our poll to let us know how you think this one is going to end.

  1. gocaps8 - Apr 11, 2011 at 7:58 PM

    No Niemi, no Byfuglien. You’d think the Canucks would be a no-brainer, right? The only thing that nags at me is the similarity to last years Capitals team. Vancouver is an offensive juggernaut that is used to winning by two or more goals. How will they handle frustration and adversity against a team that can grind and disrupt in the neutral zone?

    Canucks in 6, but not easily.

    • balewsquare - Apr 12, 2011 at 12:10 PM

      I don’t think Byfuglien or Niemi are the big stories. The Hawks still did it last year with Kane, Toews, and Bickell of all people. Crawford, at minimum, won’t LOSE games for Chicago. As a Hawks fan, my biggest worry is Bolland’s concussion. If Toews has to (try to) stop the Sedins, where does the offense come from?

      Hawks need another psychological implosion (Luongo, mindless penalties, followed by terrible PK) that should never happen in pro sports from the Canucks. I don’t think it would happen 3 straight times, but then again, I didn’t think it would happen twice…or even once…

      • balewsquare - Apr 12, 2011 at 12:43 PM

        Another factor is the injured Malhotra. That’s one thing that worried me – the Canucks showing some veteran and playoff savvy, grinding and winning faceoffs. I’d much rather face Cody Hodgson.

  2. jpelle82 - Apr 11, 2011 at 9:00 PM

    its all on luongo…there will be a lot of pressure on him because of his playoff record against the hawks and adding to that there’s a pretty darn good back-up in corey schneider…if he lets in a few bad goals he could find himself on the bench watching the hawks move on again

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