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Canucks looking forward to rematch with ‘Hawks

While I’m sure a potential Bruins and Flyers matchup in the East will be great fun, and the Red Wings taking on the Sharks yet again would be entertaining, it’s the semifinals series between Canucks and Blackhawks I’m looking forward to the most.

These are two teams that battled it out in last year’s playoffs, with Nikolai Khabibulin somehow able to lead the Blackhawks to victory. Now the Hawks are a bit older, a bit wiser, have better different goaltending and are looking to once more rekindle that old playoff rivalry and take out the Canucks once more.

They’ll have to do it against a Vancouver team that is a bit different itself, especially when you consider how well the Sedins are playing this season. Throw in a Mikael Samuelsson that’s playing out of his mind and you have a recipe for one heck of a playoff series. Joel Quenneville acknowledges that things may get testy, but it’s the team that’s in control that should come out on top.

“The rivalries and intensity and emotions are in place, but at the same time in the playoffs you’ve got to have composure and discipline and stay smart,” Quenneville said. “The focus is to win the game and win your shifts, and retaliation is not going to be successful.

“They’re a dangerous team in a lot of ways, but let’s be smart.”

Roberto Luongo says he whispered into the ear of Patrick Kane at the end of the Olympics “see you in the playoffs”, and this is certainly the rematch all the Canucks have been looking forward to. Roberto Luongo actually looked like an elite goaltender at times against the Kings, and now Vancouver is more talented and hungrier than ever.

Bring it on.