Tonight, the Blackhawks visit the Vancouver Canucks in desperate need of two points. The 9:30 PM CST start time already makes for a long wait until puck drop here in Chicago, but there will be an even further delay.
The Canucks are retiring the jersey numbers of Henrik Sedin and Daniel Sedin in a pregame ceremony, which will most certainly result in the actual game's start time being pushed back even later than originally scheduled. During that extra time, Hawks fans should not sit around twiddling their thumbs, but should instead reminisce on why the Canucks requested to host this ceremony while the Blackhawks are in town.
First, let's go back to the origin of this rivalry — the 2009 Western Conference semifinals. Patrick Kane's first-career playoff hat trick in game six helped seal the series, ignite a hatred between the two sides, and put the Blackhawks on the map.
Fast forward one year. Another Western Conference semifinal series, another Hawks' hat trick, another round of Canucks' tears.
When thinking back on why the Canucks and Blackhawks hated each other so much during this time period, it's impossible to not mention Dave Bolland's name. "The Rat" talked the talk..
And he also walked the walk. This shorthanded goal in game six of the 2010 Western Conference semifinals (a must-win for Vancouver) deflated Canucks for good, as the Hawks rolled to a 5-1 victory and onto the Western Conference Final.
The Canucks got the best of the Blackhawks in the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs (we still don't forgive you, Chris Campoli), but the team from the Pacific Northwest still wasn't able to bring the Stanley Cup back to Vancouver. They never have.
Meanwhile, the Blackhawks used the Canucks as a springboard to sweep through the Sharks and defeat the Flyers en route to bringing hockey glory back to Chicago in 2010. Sucks to suck, Vancouver. Let's send this one out with a rallying cry, much to the disdain of the players who allowed it to blare through the speakers at the United Center all too often.
Puck drop is just around the corner. Time to spoil the Sedins' celebration and remind the Canucks why the Blackhawks were their "most fitting opponent" to be in attendance for this ceremony.