The Chicago Blackhawks and Vancouver Canucks have played one of the most bizarre, engrossing, ridiculous series in the history of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, at least for a Western Conference Quarterfinal series. After taking a 3-0 lead, the Canucks have been out-scored 16-5 in the last three games, have gone from Roberto Luongo, to Cory Schneider, back to Roberto Luongo, and after losing in overtime in Chicago on Sunday night, they will face a Game 7 at Rogers Arena later this evening.
The big news for Vancouver is that the much-maligned Roberto Luongo is expected to start in Game 7, though Alain Vigneault has said that Cory Schneider is healthy. Luongo is 3-3, with a 3.45 GAA and an .888 save percentage in the parts of the six games he's played in this series. Sami Salo and Cody Hodgson will not play for the Canucks tonight, while Tanner Glass and Keith Ballard will. The Canucks have been led in scoring by Daniel Sedin, with five goals and seven points, and by Henrik Sedin with five assists.
Corey Crawford starts once again for Chicago, and this will be his first Game 7 in his first career Stanley Cup Playoffs as a starter. He has - statistically at least - out-played Luongo the past two weeks, going 3-3 with a 2.27 GAA and a .922 save percentage. Also, interestingly enough, he has two assists in the first six games. Duncan Keith leads the Hawks with four goals, and is tied with Dave Bolland and Patrick Kane at six points. Bolland leads the team in assists with four. Brian Bickell is out for tonight's game, and likely for most of the rest of the post-season. Tomas Kopecky is out as well, so Marcus Kruger and Fernando Pisani will go for Chicago.
This stands to be a very interesting finish to a very interesting series. Join me for updates tonight. Also, check out Second City Hockey and Nucks Misconduct for some nervous nellies out in Chicago and Vancouver. See you tonight.