Game Preview:Blackhawks vs. Canucks

 

CHI v. VAN- Game Preview

9:00pm CST

The Chicago Blackhawks and the Vancouver Canucks renew one the National Hockey League’s most bitter rivalries. This game could be a Western Conference finals preview.

The Blackhawks are coming off of a shootout loss to the Phoenix Coyotes. The Canucks come off of a shootout win of their own over the Detroit Red Wings. It’s going to be weird if Detroit doesn’t make the playoffs. That’s another blog for another day.

Both teams are in the NHL’s top ten in penalty kill percentage. The Blackhawks check in at number four while Vancouver checks in at number seven.

Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews continue to pace the team as their record setting regular season draws to a close. Both players have had standout seasons. It’s not often when two players from the same team are up for the league’s MVP award.

The Canucks are paced by the Sedins,Henrik and Daniel, Alexandre Burrows and Ryan Kelser.The team has won six of their last ten games.

If the Blackhawks win tonight and the Pittsburgh Penguins lose, the team can clinch the President’s trophy for the first time in 21 years. The trophy is controversial with the fans because playoff disappointment usually follows the winner. Relax Blackhawks fans; the team is smart enough not to let it go to their heads.

Corey Crawford will start in goal for the visitors. He will be backed up by Ray Emery who took a few days off to rest a lower body injury.

Cory Schneider will be the netminder for the Canucks. Roberto Luongo is still with team after his contract made him untradeable.

Fans, players and the media know what to expect from a Blackhawks/Canucks tilt. Even though the regular season is winding down, these two teams will be at the top of their game.

On a lighter note, the Canucks ended their AHL minor league partnership with the Chicago Wolves. Now Blackhawks fans can root for the local minor league team without any guilt.

Injury report: Patrick Sharp is listed as ‘Will make Canada trip’(upper body injury);Michal Rozsival is listed as day-to-day with an upper body injury for Chicago.  Manny Malhotra(upper body injury),David Booth(lower body injury),Chris Tanev(upper body injury),Chris Higgins(lower body injury) are out for Vancouver. Kevin Bieksa (lower body injury) is listed as doubtful for tonight’s game.

Blackhawks record: 34-5-5

Canucks record: 25-13-7

Time: 9:00pm CST

Location:  Rogers Arena- 800 Griffiths Way, Vancouver, BC V6B 6G1, Canada

Team promotion: No promotion

Where to watch: NHLN-US, CSN-CH

Where to listen: WGN 720 AM; AM 560

Next 2 games: Wednesday. 4/24 @ EDM; Sat. 4/26 vs. CGY

Remember to follow our Blackhawks writers at @TCLBlackhawks and follow me at @evanFmoore on Twitter!