Canucks Breaking President’s Curse With 2-0 Series Lead On Blackhawks?


Since the 1985-86 season, the NHL has annually awarded the top seeded team of the regular season The President’s Trophy. And every year, there’s always a handful of superstitious fans that insist that the winner of the trophy is cursed in the playoffs.

There have been 25 teams, now including Vancouver, that have won the trophy. And of the previous 24, only seven have been able to bring the Cup home. Even better, a quarter of those 24 didn’t even get past the first round!

And of course, the first round match-up for the Canucks have to be the Blackhawks—the team that has knocked them out of the playoffs in six games, twice in a row.

Determined to turn things around this year, the Canucks have hustled through the first two games, taking a 2-0 lead after an effort-packed game last night. Unfortunately for them, the Hawks are finally waking up to smell the playoff coffee, and the games have just begun.

By Harrini Krishnan

The Hawks suffered the longest hangover of their lives, which lasted almost all of the regular season it would seem, after their Stanley Cup celebrations last year. But it’s that time of year again, and somehow they stumbled back into contention for the Cup.

The first game, earlier this week, was anything but reassuring. Without Byfuglien in the netminder’s face, Luongo got his first shutout of the postseason with 32 saves. The Hawks barely seemed awake, let alone on their playoff grind. On several occasions, they missed 2-on-1 and powerplay opportunities. Their work ethic was extremely questionable. But Hawks’ fans brushed the ice spray of their shoulders and waited for Game 2. The Canucks have won Game 1 twice before and it didn’t mean much either time.

Game 2 comes around and it was evident the Hawks’ were finally waking up. First period, right out of the penalty box, Vancouver’s Hansen drew first blood, and the mood of the game took a sharp turn for the better. Second period, the Hawks got their first goal of the postseason from Ben Smith of all people. But of course, the Canucks, determined to avoid a repeat of the last two years, put two more in Crawford’s net. Beginning of the third, fans were on the edge of their seats. It was evident Vancouver’s 3-1 lead had the Hawks all riled up.

The third and final period definitely made this game the game of the night. The back-and-forth scoring and increased intensity was exactly the kind of effort we had been waiting for. Stalberg cut the Canucks’ lead to 3-2, and of course, Sedin has to come back in and widen the gap to 4-2.

With 7:10 on the clock, Ben Smith heads back to the net and puts in a puck off the rebound. The lead is cut again to 4-3. And in the next 7 minutes, the Hawks gave everything they had, firing shot after shot at Luongo, proving what they once were. No shot made it past the Canucks’ goalie but the effort was incredible.

“They are not the Stanley Cup champions for nothing,” Luongo said. “We didn’t expect them to keel over, or roll over. They were coming strong.”

After last night’s loss, Vancouver takes a 2 – 0 series lead on the Hawks, but it’s quite obvious there’s a long way to go before they can fully brush the Hawks out of their hair.

Now, there’s four games left. Ridiculous as it may be, let’s hope, for the Hawks’ sake, that the curse on Vancouver has just begun.

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