The Vancouver Canucks are getting ready for the playoffs to begin after clinching a playoff berth. The next big thing would be figuring out who the team will play when the postseason does begin next week. Monday night brings an opportunity for Vancouver to see how they stack up against the best team in the NHL when the Chicago Blackhawks come to town.
It may not be the playoffs yet but this game means more than people realize.
The two teams have split their two previous meetings with both games going to a shootout. Chicago has become the gold standard in the Western Conference and the entire NHL this season. You would have to think that the Blackhawks will be under a ton of pressure when the playoffs begin. If Vancouver can be one of the few teams to beat Chicago in regulation, it would go a long way.
The team has a goalie in Cory Schneider that should be able to shut down the Blackhawks and the offense is just good enough to win behind strong goaltending. Vancouver needs to treat this like a playoff game and must go about it making sure that they know Chicago isn’t unbeatable.
The Canucks don’t have a single player with more than 13 goals this season, but has five players in double figures and need that consistency to continue. Vancouver could make life very difficult on Chicago in the playoffs if they can take this game and put themselves in a great playoff position for later if the two meet again.