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Blackhawks vs. Canucks preview: Heated rivalry to begin next chapter on Friday night

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Rich Lam

The Vancouver Canucks (2-2-2) will be hosting the Chicago Blackhawks (6-0-1) at Rogers Arena on Friday night.

It will be the first of three meetings between the teams this season.

While the Blackhawks will be entering the contest as one of the best teams in the league in the early goings of the season and the Canucks will have Roberto Luongo making his third consecutive start, the majority of the framing of this match-up has been centered on how much these teams dislike one another.

With the two teams meeting in the playoffs in three consecutive years from 2009-2011 (all three meetings needing at least six games to be decided and two meetings resulting in a berth to the Conference Final), the Vancouver-Chicago rivalry has heated up quite a bit.

It was only further amplified last March when Duncan Keith administered a punishing blow to Daniel Sedin, which resulted in a five-game suspension for Keith and a concussion for Sedin.

This act is something that Vancouver players have been asked about at great length during media availability, with the players admitting they are still upset about it.

Whether it results in any kind of on-ice retaliation remains to be seen.

Luongo (1-0-2; .938 save percentage, 1.61 GAA) has already been confirmed as the starter, as has Corey Crawford for Chicago (5-0-1; .931 save percentage, 1.79 GAA).

The game is scheduled to begin at 10 p.m., ET and will be televised on TSN, RDS2 and CSN-Chicago+.