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Now or never for the Canucks as 16 teams shoot for Lord Stanley

The Nelson Daily Sports
By The Nelson Daily Sports
April 13th, 2011

It is now or never for the Vancouver Canucks?

Hockey fans will soon find out as the rivals from Chicago venture to the Rogers Centre Wednesday at 7 p.m. for game one of the National Hockey League’s Western Conference playoff series.

The last time the teams met in the post season was one year ago when the Blackhawks disposed of Vancouver in the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs en route to winning the Cup.

It was the second straight season the Canucks have failed to get past the Hawks.

Back for another run at Lord Stanley’s Mug for Chicago is Dave Bolland, Jonathan Toews, Troy Brouwer, Marian Hossa, Patrick Kane, Tomas Kopecky, Patrick Sharp, Brian Campbell, Jassen Cullimore, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook.

The Canucks have made changes for this year’s run at the Cup, most noteably to the defence where Dan Hamhuis and Keith Ballard were acquired to bolster the back end.

Roberto Luongo is also well rested thanks to the strong back up play of Cory Schneider during the regular season.

But it will be the likes of Henrick and Daniel Sedin and Ryan Kesler that will carry this team to the Cup.

Vancouver enters the playoffs having won the President’s Trophy for the first time in franchise history earlier this month.

However, after clinching the trophy there were no high-fives or back slapping.

Instead of excited shouts there was a quiet determination about the job ahead.

A job that starts Wednesday in Vancouver.

Game two goes Friday in Vancouver (7 p.m.)

The series shifts to the Windy City Sunday and Tuesday, 5 p.m. PDT.

If necessary, game five is set for Thursday in Vancouver with game six going Sunday at 4:30 p.m. PDT in Chicago.

If a seventh game is necessary it will be played Tuesday, April 26 in Vancouver.


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