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Blackhawks give Canucks a sad dose of reality

Nov 17, 2011, 12:53 AM EDT

Niklas Hjalmarsson Daniel Sedin Dave Bolland Marcus Kruger AP

Scapegoats provide cruel comfort in an insecure world. Rather than discussing the problems that truly plague our existences, why not pass the buck to some poor sap instead? Vancouver Canucks fans clutch to Roberto Luongo as a big, expensive and easy target when the team falls – particularly when that takes place against the Chicago Blackhawks – but what happens during a meltdown with Bobby Lou on the sidelines thanks to an upper-body injury?

Canucks fans experienced a harsh taste of such a reality on Wednesday night, as the Blackhawks squashed Cory Schneider & Co. by a count of 5-1.

If Luongo being planted on the bench wasn’t enough to shoot a hole in that scapegoating tendency, the completeness of the loss should be. Five different Blackhawks scored goals in that game and the Canucks actually opened up a 1-0 lead early in the second period.

With that, Chicago moves to 27 points (topping all NHL teams) while Vancouver is a decidedly mediocre 9-9-1 for 19 points. Ignoring tiebreakers that place three other teams ahead of them (assuming Los Angeles doesn’t earn a point against Anaheim), the Blackhawks would host the Canucks in a first versus eight seed match if the playoffs began today.

To recap: Luongo isn’t easy to blame, the Blackhawks are running away with the West and the Canucks might be in a dogfight just to make the playoffs. In other words, for Vancouver fans, the hockey world is flipping upside down like a car during a riot.

Check out highlights from the game below.

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  1. tommytd - Nov 17, 2011 at 1:05 AM

    Couldn’t happen to a better bunch of underperforming Canuckleheads. Time to break up the sisters. GO BLACKHAWKS.

  2. loinstache - Nov 17, 2011 at 2:53 AM

    Generalize Canuck fans much? People bitched about Robert Luongo playing poorly because Roberto Luongo was playing poorly. Nobody in Vancouver save the guy buried at the bottom of a comment section thinks the Canucks are wallowing because of one man. After watching the team that played last year? Pretty clear there’s a big change. Also real classy riot reference.

    But to play along, how about the refs not calling any penalties against Chicago?

    • comeonnowguys - Nov 17, 2011 at 9:11 AM

      I almost flamed you, but I think you were trying to be funny with that last line. Very dry wit.

    • comeonnowguys - Nov 17, 2011 at 9:32 AM

      OK, I’ll play along, too. How about the refs not calling Edler for trying to clearly dislodge the goal shortly before Toews scored on an an odd-man?

      Or one of the twins coming in late and pitchforking Crawford in the groin. Was he looking for a date? Or was he checking to see if other teams had players who had a sack?

      Couple of blatant dives in there, too. The officiating wasn’t biased against Vancouver. They just take bad penalties if they get rattled. Same as it ever was.

    • imleftcoast - Nov 17, 2011 at 4:03 PM

      Totally agree with loinstache (classy handle!) I am kind of shocked that they played this way in from of Corey though, and how the hell does Vancouver not get one powerplay? The officiating in this league threatens to make it as relevant as WWF.

  3. danphipps01 - Nov 17, 2011 at 4:00 AM

    In fairness, the Hawks are dynamite this year. I have no idea how the changes they made actually helped them out of last year’s doghouse, but I guess not being in a Cup slump and having time to adjust to losing a third of your roster really does make the difference. Oh well. We’re at one four-goal beatdown each. Let’s see what the next round brings.

    • comeonnowguys - Nov 17, 2011 at 9:14 AM

      They got some role players back, and that Cup hangover can’t be underestimated. This time last year, they were out of sync, a bit sluggish. Now they have depth and grit again, as well as some youth starting to arrive (Leddy and Frolik). Barring injuries, they’re going to be tough.

  4. cmutimmah - Nov 17, 2011 at 9:20 AM

    LOL – Crying that there was a riot reference, loinstache?? Is your city ABOVE being heckled for rioting?

    If it happened in Detroit, it would be OK… but since it happened in Vancouver, it’s tacky.

    Love double standards.

    • jovocop1989 - Nov 17, 2011 at 12:01 PM

      Double standards eh? You mean ones you invented? Pretty sure Detroit, or any other city for that matter, wasn’t even mentioned in that post. If you’re going to beak, try at least working with facts rather than making stuff up.

  5. davebabychreturns - Nov 17, 2011 at 12:55 PM

    Is there an NHL team whose fan base that gets more vapid, pointless national coverage these days than the Canucks?

    Don’t get me wrong, looking at the comments it looks like an effective way to play to your audience.. I just think it’s a poor substitute for actual insight into the game.

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