A brief history of the Canucks-Blackhawks rivalry | Hockey | CBC Sports

NHLA brief history of the Canucks-Blackhawks rivalry

Posted: Tuesday, February 19, 2013 | 09:19 AM

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Dave Bolland, Kevin Bieksa, and Duncan Keith exchange their usual pleasantries at the United Center during a game earlier this monthin Chicago. (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) Dave Bolland, Kevin Bieksa, and Duncan Keith exchange their usual pleasantries at the United Center during a game earlier this monthin Chicago. (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

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The Vancouver Canucks and Chicago Blackhawks have proven that bad blood may be bred from intense playoff meetings, but it doesn't disappear once the regular season starts up.
The Vancouver Canucks and Chicago Blackhawks have proven that bad blood may be bred from intense playoff meetings, but it doesn't disappear once the regular season starts up.

Tonight's tilt at the United Center is the 33rd meeting between the two clubs since this melee in March of 2009 (featuring goalie-punching and hair-pulling) helped spark a rivalry that also spans three years of playoff battles:



A few weeks later, the teams met in the second round of the 2009 playoffs. The 'Hawks took that series in six games, and did the same the following year en route to their Stanley Cup win over the Flyers.

Round 3 of the Blackhawks' and Canucks' playoff meetings, a first-round series in 2011, may be considered a classic. Down three games to none, the 'Hawks seemed destined to come back and beat the Canucks, with help from crushing hits like this one from Dave Bolland on Dan Hamhuis in Game 6:



Pushed to the brink by Chicago, an Alex Burrows' OT goal in Game 7 helped the Canucks finally stamp out the 'Hawks and eventually advance to the Stanley Cup final.

Bolland isn't limited to taking on-ice shots at Canucks, and had some choice words for Daniel and Henrik Sedin (as well as the city of Vancouver) in an interview with Chicago radio station WGN, in December of 2011:

"[The Sedin twins will] never become 'Hawks," Bolland said. "I don't think we'd let them on our team. That'd probably be one thing. We'd be sure not to let them on our team. And, yeah, they probably still would be sisters. I think they might sleep in, like, bunk beds. The older one has the bottom one, the younger one's got the top.

"There's a lot of weirdos [in Vancouver]. You don't want to be out there too long."

Bolland later recanted the comments in an interview with the Chicago Sun-Times, saying the comments were made in jest. It doesn't seem like Canucks coach Alain Vigneault found them too funny:



Ouch. That must've hurt.

But Bolland's ego didn't suffer as much damage as Daniel Sedin did after this flying elbow from Chicago defenceman Duncan Keith on March 23, 2012:



As NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan explained, Keith was hit with a five-game suspension, and since the two teams took a year off from facing each other in the post-season, their first meeting after that elbow wasn't until Feb. 1, 2012.

While that game was light on extracurricular action during a 2-1 shootout win for Vancouver, there may be extra incentive for the Canucks to beat their foes this time around. The Blackhawks (12-0-3) are looking to tie the record held by the 2007 Anaheim Ducks for most games without a regulation loss to start a season.

Denying Chicago a place in the history books? Sounds like a job for a bitter rival.

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