Tonight, the Blackhawks will face the Canucks for the first time since being eliminated by Vancouver in last year’s epic, historic, unforgettable first-round playoff series.
A series that ended like this, in case you forgot:
Leading up to tonight’s game, the ‘Hawks have spent plenty of time telling local media just how excited they are to get it on.
Dave Bolland: “It will be like a playoff game on Sunday right from the puck drop. Something will happen. The fans and everybody will be into it. It will be a crazy game.”
Joel Quenneville: “At the end of the year you know they’re going to be a top team. The rivalry is definitely in place. When you play them three years in a row in the playoffs there’s something going on there.”
Brent Seabrook: ““It’s going to be an exciting game. We’re looking forward to it.”
Adding to the intrigue will be the presence of Dan Carcillo. Acquired by the ‘Hawks this past summer, Carbomb made waves during his introductory presser on Aug. 8 by saying the following:
Strong but problematic words from the ‘Hawks instigator extraordinaire — when Carcillo said this, Tanner Glass and Raffi Torres were no longer with the Canucks. Glass had signed with Winnipeg on Jul. 1, the same day Torres inked with Phoenix.
(Also, Carcillo got Maxim Lapierre mixed up with Ian Laperriere. Hey, it was his first-ever press conference.)
Unlike Glass and Torres, Lapierre is still with the Canucks and seems fine being at the top of Carcillo’s hit list.
“That’s all right,” Lapierre told the Vancouver Province. “We know he [Carcillo] plays his role and he might be the 500th guy in the league who has said that. I’m used to it and I enjoy my role. I don’t know what he’s doing and I really don’t care about him.”
There’s also the small matter of how both teams are coming into this game. Vancouver’s been bad (lost two straight and four of six) while Chicago’s been good (won three of four, gained seven of eight points) — setting the stage for a pretty key affair for both clubs.