The last four times the Hawks have invaded B.C., they've not only come out with victories, but have thoroughly embarrassed the Canucks.
Games 3, 4, and 6 last spring were contests for the first period of each. And in November, after the Hawks completely mailed it in against Calgary, they fustigated the Canucks 7-1.
We'd like to think the blue and green would be so wound up for Friday night's game that they'll once again spit the bit. But based on their ever-so-calm and efficient dismantling of the Hawks when they last visited on Dec. 3 with a 3-0 win, maybe all this talk of the Canucks being more reserved and focused rings true.
We'll see if their fanbase will allow them to do the same.
The word out of practice is that Patrick Kane tweeked his ankle, but he should be good to go for the game. The fact that it could be tweeked at all lets you know that he hasn't been 100 percent since returning from his absence. I probably should have been a little less hard on him.
Whatever Kane's condition, the Hawks are going to have to be better than they were against Columbus.
While the Blue Jackets continually get caught up in a free-for-all against the Hawks, they can't compete at that. So even though the Hawks' performance was littered with mistakes and boneheaded decisions, they were given more than enough space to make up for it.
That won't be the case Friday night. Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook returned to their woeful pattern of the past month, and if they do that again they'll give up a dozen.
On the bright side, the sight of Swedish twins tends to bring out the best in them. We should all be so lucky, as I'd crawl up in the fetal position and whimper and cry.
Oh, those Swedish twins? Well, same thing.
Marty Turco will get the start, and while some want to turn this into yet another spear to chuck at Coach Joel Quenneville when, and if, it goes goofy, to me it's just rewarding a goalie for a fine performance last time out. And Turco was very good after his initial soft goal (yet another where Keith stopped to smell the roses of life instead of completing his check against Next Generation Gretzyky, Derek Dorsett).
Whichever way the Canucks play this, the Hawks have to be disciplined, as this power play with the Sedin twins and Kesler on the top unit is lethal injection effective. They can't get cute as even with this beat up defensive corps the Canucks can turn it around on you in a hurry.
The simplest game possible, as the Canucks D can still get iffy from time to time, and you never know what you'll get from Roberto Luongo. If Tomas Kopecky and Troy Brouwer, along with Bryan Bickell, can consistently get in his face, it could be meltdown city once again.
They didn't do that here in December, and Borat was flawless.
It's always tasty affairs between these two, and we'll see just how remade this Canucks team is.