Patrick Kane started it all, potting a hat trick to push the Chicago Blackhawks over the Vancouver Canucks in the 2009 Western Conference semifinals. It would start a pattern that would delight Blackhawks fans with those in British Columbia cursing Chicago.
When this tweet popped up, it had to make Blackhawks fans smile and Canucks fans sneer.
Most playoff points against the Canucks in the cap era:
22 — Patrick Kane
20 — Jonathan Toews
17 — Dave Bolland
15 — Duncan Keith
15 — Patrick Sharp
12 — Patrick Marleau
Those Blackhawks teams just kept torching the Canucks. pic.twitter.com/dFM9wPtpMn
— Big Head Hockey (@BigHeadHcky) August 28, 2023
Blackhawks Back to Back Series Wins
In both 2009 and 2010, the Blackhawks dispatched the Canucks in six games. The former series saw the Canucks take a 2-1 series lead before dropping three straight. 2010 was a different story, with the Blackhawks going up 3-1 before dropping Game 5. They’d finish the Canucks off 5-1 on the road and go on to win the Stanley Cup two rounds later.
2011 saw a depleted Blackhawks roster, a casualty of the salary cap era. They were a Chris Campoli turnover away, however, from pulling off an unbelievable series comeback.
Down 3-0 and looking absolutely dead in the water, the Blackhawks roared back, outscoring the Canucks 16-5 in the next three games. For a Vancouver team haunted my previous postseason failures, it looked ominous.
A 2-1 overtime loss got the Canucks to the next round, but not with another scare from the Blackhawks.
The interesting point is that the regular season was always much closer. There were series splits in 2009, 2010, and 2011. But it’s what didn’t happen in 2009 that could have changed the trajectory of the series.
Game 4 of 2009 Semi Finals Put Momentum in Chicago’s Favor
Down 2-1 in the series and unable to solve Roberto Luongo in Game 4, the Canucks were clinging to a 1-0 lead with just under three minutes to go in the game. Andrew Ladd chipped away at the puck and Vancouver couldn’t clear, the puck hopping to Martin Havlat who snapped a shot past Luongo. The game went to overtime, where some heroics from Nikolai Khabibulin kept Vancouver at bay.
Dave Bolland ripped a shot at the net that Ladd would redirect in overtime, tying the series and starting a trend that the Canucks wouldn’t escape until Campoli failed to clear the puck a couple years later.
Regardless, the Blackhawks provided a ton of great memories for their fans and sent a lot of Canucks fans into fits with the pair of series wins. They were a goal away from pulling it off again in 2011.
The two bitter rivals haven’t met in the postseason since.