(Video credit: Sandro Desaulniers from Port Coquitlam, BC)
Almost to a man, Canucks fans are calling game 7 against the Chicago Blackhawks the most important game in the franchise’s history since game 7 of the 1994 Stanley Cup Finals.
Think about it.
This is a Canucks team widely-considered to be the best in its 40-year history. They won the President’s Trophy by a wide margin. They’re a no. 1 seed facing a no. 8 seed that finished 20 points below them in the standings. They finished at the top (or near the top) of every significant statistical category. They boast last year’s Art Ross Trophy and Hart Trophy winner, this year’s Art Ross Trophy winner, a Vezina Trophy candidate, and most likely a Selke Trophy finalist.
And most importantly, only a week ago, they had a 3-0 series lead over the Chicago Blackhawks.
When the puck drops for game 7, none of that will matter.
The only thing that will matter is whether this version of the Canucks – supposedly the best one in its history and Stanley Cup favorites when the playoffs began – will finally finish off the Hawks and move on to what looks like a second round matchup against the Nashville Predators or go down in the biggest collapse in NHL history.
Win and they continue in their quest for the franchise’s first-ever Stanley Cup. Lose and a summer of certain uncertainty – with questions about everything from their core players to their to team make-up to their coaching staff to the management team – begins.