Canucks gameday: Sedins take center stage before clash with Blackhawks

Before the Vancouver Canucks clash with the Chicago Blackhawks, the Sedin twins will watch their numbers get raised to the rafters of Rogers Arena.

The Vancouver Canucks will retire the numbers of Daniel (22) and Henrik Sedin (33) before renewing their rivalry with the Chicago Blackhawks.

During the Sedin era in Vancouver, no team posed a greater rivalry than the Blackhawks. The two clubs met in the postseason three straight years from 2009 to 2011, with Jonathan Toews and company claiming the first two series before Vancouver finally slayed the dragon on the third try.

The rivalry slowly but surely drifted away as the 2010s decade progressed, with Chicago maintaining their status as a Western Conference powerhouse while Vancouver entered a lengthy rebuilding phase.

But regardless of the outcome in tonight’s game, Feb. 12, 2020 will mark one of the most memorable and emotional nights in the Canucks-Blackhawks history. Daniel and Henrik — by far the two greatest players in franchise history — will happily watch No. 22 and No. 33 get raised to the rafters, two years after they retired together.

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Players to watch

Elias Pettersson: Pettersson was arguably Vancouver’s best skater on the ice in Monday’s 6-2 win over the Nashville Predators. He recorded two assists to stay ahead of J.T. Miller for the team lead in scoring with 57 points.

Patrick Kane: He drove the Canucks crazy during those intense playoff rivals. Age hasn’t slowed down the 31-year-old Kane, who’s still among the game’s most prolific playmakers. He leads Chicago in goals (25) and points (69).

Quinn Hughes: The rookie blueliner picked up three assists against Nashville on Monday. Hughes, in the midst of a tight Calder Trophy race with Cale Makar of the Colorado Avalanche, has five helpers in his last three outings.

Jonathan Toews: The future Hall of Famer has played a key role in keeping Chicago’s playoff hopes alive. Toews has 15 goals and 46 points on the season, and he picked up a goal and one assist in the Jan. 2 meeting (a 7-5 loss) against Vancouver.

Prediction: 5-2 Canucks

Vancouver has been one of the NHL’s best teams on home ice (18-6-3), while Chicago has a mere 12-12-4 record on the road. The Blackhawks will also be playing their second game in as many nights.

The Canucks are simply the better team in every aspect, and you have to think that the Sedin jersey retirement ceremony will provide an emotional spark in this team. They won’t want to drop a pivotal home game here. Not with Vancouver sports icons in attendance.

Next: Canucks: Our favourite moments from Sedin twins

When all is said and done, the Canucks will skate away with a 5-2 victory, thanks to a trio of goals from the top line. And with that, Sedin night will end on the perfect note.