The rivalry has been simmering for more than 10 months.
After missing each other in the playoffs last season and enduring a lockout that delayed the 2013 campaign until last month, the Blackhawks and Canucks will renew acquaintances Friday night in what has become one of the fiercest rivalries in the NHL.
Three consecutive showdowns in the postseason, a hair-pulling incident during a line brawl, the taunting of top players, hard hits, verbal sparring between coaches and an elbow to the head of a Canucks star all have had a hand in ramping up the dislike between the teams.
"We expect a playoff-type mentality, an important game for everybody," Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "There's good history there. When we go there the building is alive."
Hawks defenseman Duncan Keith has been involved in a couple of incidents against the Canucks in recent seasons, including Alexandre Burrows pulling his hair during a 2009 fight and his delivering an elbow to the head of Daniel Sedin in the last regular-season meeting — March 21, 2012 — that drew a five-game suspension.
"They have a good team; it will be a good game," Keith said. "We always have good games against them, entertaining games, so I don't expect anything short of that."
Keith figures to draw the wrath of the Rogers Arena crowd for the hit on Sedin, replacing Dave Bolland as Public Enemy No. 1 in Vancouver. Bolland has referred to Daniel and brother Henrik Sedin famously as the "Sedin sisters," but it's likely Keith will be under the most fire from the fans — and possibly the teammates of Daniel Sedin, who suffered a concussion as a result of the hit.
Hawks, Canucks ready to renew rivalry
Chicago Tribune | Feb 1