By Jay Zawaski-
(CBS) In the NHL (and most other sports), rivalries are grown and cultivated by playoff series.
Over the past couple of seasons, the Blackhawks and Canucks have managed to avoid each other in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Last season, the Canucks were swept by the San Jose Sharks in the first round. In 2012, the Blackhawks were eliminated in the first round by the Phoenix Coyotes.
Perhaps absence makes the heart grow fonder.
There are a few factors when analyzing why the rivalry may be losing a bit of flair.
First off, former Canuck public enemy No. 1, Roberto Luongo, has made himself somewhat of a sympathetic figure. He was jerked around by Canucks management, and believed he was on the move over the last two summers. Instead, the Canucks traded his long time…backup? Partner?
Let’s just say they traded his long time “other guy who plays…
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