The more things change...
Fans of both the Blackhawks and Vancouver Canucks are well-acquainted with their team's current rivalry, the seeds of which were sown in the 2008-09 season, and blossomed through their 2009, 2010 and 2011 playoff series. But take a step back: the bitterness between Chicago and Vancouver is not a new idea, and in fact stretches back almost as far as the Canucks' four-decade history.
Here are just a few facts and figures from the long, contentious rivalry between these two Western Conference foes.
1. Tony Esposito was the author of the Blackhawks' first six shutouts against their British Columbian rivals.
Tony O turned in the first shutout against the Canucks on Nov. 17, 1971, just Vancouver's second season in the NHL. The Blackhawks' seventh all-time shutout against the Canucks - and the first one without Esposito between the pipes - was completed by Murray Bannerman on Jan. 8, 1984.
2. Doug Wilson's record for most power-play goals by a defenseman in one game was set against the Canucks.
On Jan. 28, 1982, Wilson tallied twice on the man advantage as the Blackhawks rolled 3-2.
3. The famed Roger Neilson "White Flag" game took place at Chicago Stadium.
On April 29, 1982, the Blackhawks hosted Vancouver for Game 2 of the Campbell Conference Final at Chicago Stadium. With his team down 4-1, and feeling like his team was being unfairly penalized by the officials, Vancouver Head Coach Roger Neilson grabbed a white towel, put it on the end of a hockey stick, and started waving it from the bench in symbolic protest.
The game still holds the Blackhawks franchise record for most penalty minutes assessed to both teams in one playoff game: 106 for Vancouver, 82 for Chicago.
4. The 1982 conference final still holds the Blackhawks' franchise record for penalty minutes in one playoff series: 560 (VAN 285, CHI 275).
5. Brent Sutter set the Blackhawks' team record for fastest goal to start the season at Vancouver.
The center set the mark eight seconds into the game on Feb. 5, 1995 at Vancouver's Pacific Coliseum.
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