Reliving History?

” Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”

George Santayana

Ol’ George was a kind of 19th century Spanish renaissance man who knew nothing about hockey. If any of his descendants are Vancouver Canucks’ fans, they’ll know all too well the recent playoff history against the Chicago Black Hawks – which continues tonight at Rogers Place Arena.

Last spring, Canuck fans mostly remember the 5-1 thrashing of the Hawks in game one in Chicago and the dizzying optimism that led to. More vividly, they also recall the Hawks winning four of the next five – including a 5-1 drubbing in Vancouver in the clinching game.

In the 2009 playoffs, the Hawks also defeated the Canucks four games to two – here the memory of Game 6 is etched in the minds of Vancouver fans. It was a 7-5 loss in Chicago and the Patrick Kane back-hand goal (his smug celebration after) past a dejected and totally out-matched (and many said at the time, overpaid) goaltender Roberto Luongo.

There were two other playoff series involving the Windy City team and Vancouver. In 1995, the Hawks swept the Canucks 4-0 (although to be fair three of those wins were in overtime).

Lest the Hawks’ fans are feeling like Kane did after his Game 6 goal, there was another playoff encounter between the two teams. In 1982, the Canucks defeated the Hawks four games to one (three of the wins coming in Chicago). Oh yeah, after the Canucks dispatched the Hawks that spring, they went on to the Stanely Cup final.

So the hard numbers…Chicago 3 series wins to Vancouver’s one…Chicago 13 games won to Vancouver’s 8….Tonight at 7:30 p.m. PDT, all that will be ancient history when the puck drops for the 2011 edition of the rivalry.

Cono Spitale

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