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There’s optimism in Vancouver again

Apr 23, 2013, 11:49 AM EDT

Canucks score Getty Images

Funny what a victory over the NHL’s best team can do to the mood in a city.

Even better if the NHL’s best team happens to be a hated rival.

This morning, the night after a 3-1 Canucks win over the Chicago Blackhawks at Rogers Arena, Vancouver hockey fans woke up to read about an “inspiring performance” from a team that played its “best game in ages.”

Never mind that ‘Hawks coach Joel Quenneville called it his team’s “worst game of the year,” Canucks fans haven’t seen many performances like the one they saw Monday from their guys. (Not lately, at least. They saw plenty two years ago.)

Vancouver outshot the Blackhawks, 32-25, and played much of the game in Chicago’s end of the ice.

“I thought our effort level was great, our execution was great, our defensive play was great, physicality, it was the whole package,” said goalie Cory Schneider, who stopped 24 of 25 Chicago shots. “If we play that way, and we know we can, we can beat a lot of teams in this league.”

Daniel Sedin was named first star after scoring once and adding an assist. His brother Henrik was the second star, with two helpers.

If the Canucks are going to have success in the playoffs, the twins will need to win the possession battle and produce.

“From the first shift we were focused on getting pucks deep and we were on the forecheck and forechecking the right way, which is a key for our team,” said Daniel.

Granted, it was only one game. It didn’t completely erase the memory of performances like last Thursday’s 5-1 loss in Dallas, or all the wins that might have been losses if not for Schneider.

With the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference wrapped up and no chance to move up, the Canucks play out the string by hosting Anaheim Thursday and going to Edmonton Saturday.

  1. steverolley - Apr 23, 2013 at 12:01 PM

    It actually was probably the best game they’ve played in about two years.

    They’ve been lifeless and boring for a long time and I was expecting a Chicago blowout last night.

    I hope this is a beginning of a trend, a hard working Canucks team, but I’m not going to hold my breathe

  2. comeonnowguys - Apr 23, 2013 at 12:10 PM

    Vancouver fans in general overvaluing regular season outcomes? That almost never happens all the time.

    • micasa81 - Apr 23, 2013 at 12:24 PM

      I see nothing in their response that “overvalues” this win. Canucks played extremely well and handily beat the best team in the league, a week before the playoffs start. Reason for optimism, yes, but it’s not like anyone’s proclaiming them SC champs.

      But I get it, your team just got their a$$es handed to them by their most hated rivals – gotta get your jabs in somewhere.

      • comeonnowguys - Apr 23, 2013 at 12:27 PM

        Most hated rivals? And here I thought it was Blackhawk fans that were completely new to hockey.

      • micasa81 - Apr 23, 2013 at 12:44 PM

        Fine, maybe they hate some other team more (though you’ll have a tough time convincing me that even the Wings trump the Canucks in that department in the past 4 years). My post revised accordingly:

        “But I get it, your team just got their a$$es handed to them by a team they really hate – gotta get your jabs in somewhere.”

        Aaaand it doesn’t change my point at all.

      • comeonnowguys - Apr 23, 2013 at 1:46 PM

        I get where you’re going, but the hate may be a little more unidirectional than you may realize.

        Point me to where Chicago “slayed the dragon” in their two postseason victories. Point me to where Chicago crowds will chant “Vancouver sucks” in games where they aren’t playing Vancouver.

        Don’t get me wrong, it’s fun to get a little ire worked up, and there was enough @55hattery to perpetuate it for a couple years, especially when playoffs are involved. And I’m sure there is no love lost on Chicago’s end. But in all honesty, Chicago fans got their ire/hate/rivalry fix just fine from Phoenix last year and their shenanigans.

        But to think either team comes close to the Red Wings–a team they have played more often than any other team in history–is a little nearsighted. Both this recent kerfuffle with Vancouver and the Wings rivalry are basically going away with realignment and quasi-divisional playoffs. Guess which one Hawk fans will miss more.

    • elvispocomo - Apr 23, 2013 at 12:52 PM

      The win was full value for the Canucks, and I guess you missed all the Hawks fans on here talking about how with their record start they were all but guaranteed the cup, gifted by the gods of fate. Well, the Hawks are human too.

      • comeonnowguys - Apr 23, 2013 at 1:37 PM

        I guess I did miss that. Maybe it’s because Hawks fans have a direct historical example of how the President’s Cup doesn’t mean jack. And partly because late collapses by other Chicago teams are never out of the back of their minds.

  3. DTF31 - Apr 23, 2013 at 1:15 PM

    Its frustrating because they play to the level of their opponents most nights. Play a garbage team? Play like garbage. Play a good team? Play a good game.

  4. hsnepsts - Apr 23, 2013 at 2:39 PM

    Chicago is still the team to best in the West, and it will still be a massive upset if the Canucks do manage to best them in a 7 game series.

    • shwoogy1 - Apr 23, 2013 at 5:28 PM

      Which would never happen in a million years.

  5. blackhawks2010 - Apr 24, 2013 at 12:04 AM

    Hawks phoned this one in, terrible effort.

  6. acepylut - Apr 24, 2013 at 1:34 PM

    If that was the Canucks best effort in “a couple of years”, and by far the worst effort by the ‘hawks in a couple of years – and Vancouver only won 3-1…. then there is trouble brewing in Vancouver. they won’t make it past Chicago because Chicago won’t take the night off during the playoffs. Only chance for the Canucks is to pray Chicago gets beat before playing them.

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