There are plenty of reasons the Canucks are favored going into their second round series against the Chicago Blackhawks. Richard has outlined a few here, but allow me to add my 2 cents as well.
One key that I want to point out is that the Canucks have home ice advantage. How important is it?
Well, it means more to the Canucks than the Blackhawks. While the Blackhawks’ stats are relatively-similar at home and on the road, the Canucks, since February 1st, have shown that they are a much, much better team at GM Place.
STATS FROM FEBRUARY 1ST TO FIRST ROUND OF PLAYOFFS
After the Canucks pounded the Blackhawks 4-0 in their last regular season meeting, a large portion of Canuckville wanted Vancouver to meet Chicago in the first round, Northwest Division title and home ice advantage be damned; I remember TEAM 1040 even ran a poll on the topic. I’m glad the Canucks ignored the masses and won the division anyway because, as it turned out, they now meet the Blackhawks in the second round and hold home ice over them – funny how the hockey gods work sometimes, eh?