Buckle Up, Chicago: Blackhawks vs. Canucks, Round 3

For two straight years the Chicago Blackhawks have knocked the Vancouver Canucks out of the playoffs. The in the 2008-09 season, the loss rested squarely on goaltender/captain Roberto Luongo’s shoulders, as his post-season collapse was the main reason the ‘Nucks polished up their Taylor Made’s early that year. In 2009-10 the defeat was particularly insulting, as Vancouver had re-tooled the team specifically for the purpose of getting past the ‘Hawks and into the Stanley Cup Finals. But Chicago bested them again.

This season, the Canucks have dominated the league almost from the get-go. They sat first in the league at the end of the regular season, the only injury of consequence is Manny Malhotra, and both the team and the fans are primed and ready for a Cup-winning run to avenge the losses the past two years.

Vancouver had better get used to disappointment. Chicago is going to put them down, yet again.

We know pretty much everything there is to know about this team. The Tampon Twins plus Ryan Kesler are their offensive punch. The defense has been engineered to protect their beloved Bobby Lu between the pipes. They are physical, they are fast, they take advantage of their opponents’ mistakes and convert those opportunities into goals. They have a substantial power play, they are also not too shabby on the penalty kill.

So where’s the weakness? Where it’s always been. Where it was two years ago. Where it was last year. In goal.

Roberto Luongo is a head case. Get 3 goals behind him, he’s done for the night. After that third goal, a switch is flipped inside of him, and he can’t stop a beach ball. He’s useless. He’s more useful as a bench-warmer. That’s the Canucks’ weakness. And it is up to the Blackhawks to exploit it.

Crash the net. Run the goalie early, and often. Screen, screen, screen. Shoot low from the outside, slam home the rebounds. All paths lead to Luongo’s boldly protruding schnozz. Get to him, and you finish the Canucks. This series is going to be a shooting gallery, and Luongo better bring his Kevlar — he’s the one wearing the bulls-eye.

Administrative nonsense: Vancouver forward Malhotra is gone for the rest of the year, and defensemen Andrew Alberts and Lee Sweatt are out tonight; Chicago center Dave Bolland will not be in the lineup, but expect winger Troy Brouwer to officially be a “game-time” decision just to fake out the Canucks — he’ll likely play. Luongo in the crease for Vancouver, Corey Crawford starts in goal for the Blackhawks.

Everybody’s getting their predictions in, so here is mine: Blackhawks in 5. Suck on that. The only subject up for debate in my opinion is what cheese-eating surrender monkey Coach Alain Vigneault goes whining to the press about when we wipe our ASS with his team.

9:00pm puck drop with the west coast start tonight. TV is all over the friggin’ place: CBC in Canada plus RDS (en francais) in Quebec; Versus nationally in the ‘States plus Comcast SportsNet here in Chicagoland. Broadcast radio is a change from the usual: the Blackhawks get kicked off the flagship station because of the fool-idiot radio contract with the Flubs, and thus end up on AM-560, WIND. XM subscribers should look for the game on channel 204.

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  • rich lindbloom

    Great preview of the Vancouver beatdown. Get the pitchfork out, Johnny.

    tonight’s game will be the toughest – you will see the canucks put everything they have into this game. Weather the strom and come back to Chi-town with one W.

    Losing malholtra could seriously put acrimp in there PK

  • Sean

    Destroy them. Please. The City of Vancouver is so arrogant right now. I live and work there. It’s unbearable. Im not a Hawks fan. I think Im more of a fan of any team that beats the Canucks. The Blackhawks have an opportunity to demoralize an entire city. If the Hawks win, Canuck fans would wander the streets with glazed over looks in their eyes trying to comprehend how their president’s trophy team lost….again… the Hawks. The only residents of Vancouver that would be happy to see the Canucks lose would be psychiatrists because there would be endless lineups of canuck fans seeking prescription medications in an attempt to cope with the epic failure that is their beloved canucks. Yes, the Blackhawks could do this. How good would that be? Ignore what all the Canuck players are saying. The Hawks ARE in their heads. Luongo CAN be rattled. The Canucks will fight hard as they can not succumb to the Blackhawks mind games. They might be able to hold off for 2 or 3 games. But trust me. They are still the Canucks. They meltdown. It’s what they do. It’s how their built. Please. Please beat them. Because if the Canucks go on to win the cup, it’ll be me that will be seeking to be heavily medicated to cope with these unbearable, arrogant canuck fans.

    • rich lindbloom

      That was a pretty funny, impassioned plea Sean. I can envision the zombies in the movie night of the living dead.

      I just hope the team is not half as jacked as the fnas

      • Chicago Irish

        Bought the Cup, huh? Check the draft pick history you jag-bag. I’ve never understood that rationale…”buy a Cup”. I would have no problem if the Hawks bought a Cup every year!! The only reason the Ca-chokes can’t buy a Cup is because who in there right mind would want to play for that shit-box team!?!?! It’s that time of year again…time to watch Luongo cry again!!! Hawks in 6…they split the first four…Hawks steal game 5 and finish ‘em in 6 with 22,000+ offering Luonog a towl to cry on.

  • Kevin

    Wow, amazing to see such delusional people, still hoping for a Hawks win in this one. You chumps have no chance. Nucks are gonna spank you bitches in 5 games. Typical American krap, you suck for years, buy your way to a cup and then dismantle a team. The Nucks have done it the right way, smart drafts, smart trades, and smart player development. They have a team that will compete for years, and who do you idiots have? Kane? Gimme a fucking break.

    Canucks in 5. Guaranteed.

    • rich lindbloom

      Umm, Kevin, we have a Cup.

    • rich lindbloom

      By the way, the only spanking that’s going to be done is when Kaner visits the damsels at Roxy’s.

  • Tim Currell

    “Buy” a cup? This I don’t understand. Last year, 12 of the 24 guys on the Stanley Cup winning team were drafted by Chicago. This year: 13. Those include our two top forwards and two top defensemen both years.

    Sounds like typical Vancouver sore-loser moaning and groaning to me. And by the way, I was born in Toronto, suck-weasel.

  • Bartl

    It’s also a bit tough to “buy” a Cup when there’s a salary cap. And if Vancouver is “doing it right,” how come they haven’t gotten past the second round since 1994? That should be enough for now.

  • Kevin

    That’s the first one bitches.

    Yeah, you languish in the basement of the league for years collecting draft picks. What you don’t get is that that doesn’t work in a Canadian hockey market, because we demand performance every year, (Toronto excluded obviously, suck weasel guy).

    Chicago Irish, Yankees fan much? You don’t care if they buy their way in every year? You shouldn’t even be a sports fan in that case. Pathetic.

    Is your whole city as stupid as you idiots?

  • SimHL Commissioner

    I think the reference to buying a cup is from the Hawks somehow being close to 4 million over the cap last year. (remember they have had to play all this season at 4 mil less then most other teams as a result)4 mil is a lot of coin, maybe they don’t add Hossa, maybe they have to trade Buff before the playoffs last year? Not sure, but does Philly win that series if there is no Hossa? Probably not! I thought playing over the cap wasn’t allowed? Nice to see the NHL has some pretty weak rule enforcment.

  • Canucks in 4

    Hope you feel like a jackass now. I mean, because you are a jackass.

  • Martin Cheung

    whos in the finals bitches?