The Canucks bring about an emotional response from a number of rivals.
Especially the Chicago Blackhawks.
The hatred between these two teams is palpable, and it seems reasonable that if either of these teams is going to represent the Western Conference in the Stanley Cup Finals, it will have to beat the other in the playoffs.
That's getting ahead of the situation. The Blackhawks (12-0-3) have not tasted regulation defeat through their first 15 games, and if they can avoid losing to the Canucks in regulation, they will tie the 2006-07 Anaheim Ducks for the longest season-opening stretch without a 60-minute defeat in NHL history.
Patrick Kane is off to an explosive start, having scored nine goals and 21 points. The Chicago goaltending has been excellent, but Roberto Luongo has a 1.63 goals against average and doesn't have to take a back seat to anyone this year.
This may be the best game of the first half of the season.