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Canucks v Blackhawks - 2011 Stanley Cup Conference Quarterfinals

Canucks look to silence questions in Game 6

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

CHICAGO -- After two days of looking back and analyzing what led to their dreadful performances in Games 4 and 5, the Canucks are not surprisingly amped up and looking ahead to Game 6 against the Blackhawks Sunday night at United Center.

The catch is that until the Canucks prove they can put the hammer down on the Hawks they will always be reminded of the past.

"Until we go out and prove it there will always be those questions," Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said. "I can defend my players all I want right now, at the end of the day they've got to go on the ice and prove it."

At various times throughout these last five tumultuous days since losing 7-2 here in Game 4 the Canucks have referenced their success during the regular season, how they've proven they can absorb any type of punch thrown at them and still win hockey games, still win the Presidents' Trophy.

Seabrook cleared to play in Game 6

Brian Hedger - Correspondent

CHICAGO -- Defenseman Brent Seabrook got medical clearance Sunday morning to play for the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 6 of their Western Conference Quarterfinal series against the Vancouver Canucks Sunday night at the United Center.

Seabrook, who incurred what’s believed to be a concussion in the second period of Game 3, finished that game but missed Game 4 in Chicago and Game 5 in Vancouver -- despite making the trip. Seabrook practiced with the Hawks on Saturday for the first time since the injury and expressed hope that he'd be cleared to play in Game 6.

Sunday morning he got the clearance after passing necessary medical protocols.

Seabrook returns to practice for Hawks

Brian Hedger - Correspondent

CHICAGO -- Brent Seabrook practiced with the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday for the first time since Game 3 of a Western Conference Quarterfinal series against the Vancouver Canucks.

Seabrook, who skated with Jassen Collimore, finished that game after being hit hard twice by Canucks forward Raffi Torres in the second period, but missed Games 4 and 5 with an upper body injury believed to be a concussion.

Keith discusses frustrating season, playoff perkup

Brian Hedger - Correspondent

CHICAGO – The words that came out of Duncan Keith's mouth on Friday afternoon struggled to escape but eventually tumbled out for the whole world's consumption.

Once out, however, those words put into perspective a turbulent season for him and his teammates on the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks – who have momentum but still trail the Vancouver Canucks 3-2 in their Western Conference Quarterfinal series despite winning the last two games in blowouts.

Keith, who scored a pair of goals and assisted on two others in Thursday's 5-0 rout at Rogers Arena, was asked about his roller-coaster season – in which he often didn't seem like himself. His answer was stunning, matter-of-fact and probably indicative of how many defending Cup champions feel the season after finishing on top.

"This year for me was frustrating," the reigning Norris Trophy winner said at O'Hare Airport after the Hawks returned from Vancouver. "I felt like it had really good stretches and then there (were) times I would just … I don't want to say … lose focus, but just was not really … interested for whatever reason."

Hamhuis reacts to hit on Bolland

Dhiren Mahiban - Correspondent

VANCOUVER, B.C. -- After battling back from a March 9 concussion to dress in Game 4, Dave Bolland has been affective at both ends of the rink.

The 24-year-old had a goal and three assists as the Blackhawks embarrassed the Canucks 7-2 on Tuesday night. The Mimico, Ont., native has also helped to hold Vancouver's big line of Daniel Sedin, Henrik Sedin and Alexander Burrows in check: The Canucks' big trio has just one goal among them and are a collective minus-11 in the two games since Bolland's return.

Bolland had also been rather disciplined with the exception of two minor penalties – one of which came Thursday night in the second period of Chicago's 5-0 win.

Canucks focus on changes for Game 6

Dhiren Mahiban - Correspondent

VANCOUVER, B.C. -- Through the first five games of their Western Conference Quarterfinal series with the Chicago Blackhawks, the Vancouver Canucks' message was to "take it one game at a time." As the team headed for Chicago on Friday morning, the focus shifted to making changes ahead of Game 6 at the United Center.

"We've got a couple ideas here on what we need to do, what we need to do better," coach Alain Vigneault said. "Obviously I'm not going to share that with you, but there are a few points that we need to put in place. I'm confident in this group, I'm confident in their ability.

"They've always responded well, and we're going to try and respond well on Sunday."

Despite Vigneault's unwillingness to discuss his team's changes heading into Sunday's game, anyone who's followed the team knows gap control is one of the big issues that needs to be addressed. Vigneault talked about it before Game 5, did so again after Game 5 -- and will undoubtedly be talking about it with his team prior to Game 6.

Crawford feels good after first playoff shutout

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

VANCOUVER, B.C. -- The hockey world will spend the next two days talking about the other goalie in this series, the more famous with the big contract who has a mountain of pressure resting on his broad shoulders heading into Game 6 Sunday in Chicago.

But, it's Corey Crawford that everyone should be applauding. The Blackhawks' 26-year-old rookie is looking more and more like a playoff veteran as the games pass by.

Well after Roberto Luongo had given up four more goals and was pulled less than 22 minutes into the Thursday night’s game, Crawford was completing his first career playoff shutout with 36 saves in a 5-0 win at Rogers Arena that pulled the once left-for-dead Blackhawks within one game of tying the series and forcing it to go seven games.

Keith stepping up when Hawks need him most

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

VANCOUVER, B.C.Duncan Keith had a 4-point night and barely broke a sweat.

The floppy dark hair pouring out from underneath his ball cap looked as if it had been freshly blow-dried when he spoke with the media inside the victorious Blackhawks' dressing room Thursday night. Keith's forehead was similarly lacking in moisture, zero beads of sweat.

The guy looked like he just played Yahtzee, not more than 23 minutes of hockey. He looked like he could play two, and the way he's going right now he probably wouldn't mind it.

But the Vancouver Canucks most definitely would.

Canucks face pressure as they head to Chicago

Dhiren Mahiban - Correspondent

VANCOUVER, B.C. -- With the pressure completely on their shoulders and the momentum clearly in the Blackhawks' corner, the Canucks will do what they hoped they wouldn't have to do when the series moved back to Vancouver for Game 5 – play Game 6 in Chicago on Sunday.

The Canucks will board their charter Friday afternoon, bound for Chicago's O'Hare International Airport.

"We got 20-something guys that do believe and that's all that matters," forward Daniel Sedin said. "For us we've been through adversity, we're going to go through more adversity and this is when you show what kind of team you are."

Hodgson, Rome back in for Canucks' Game 5

Dan Rosen - Senior Writer

VANCOUVER, B.C. -- The Canucks made two minor lineup changes prior to Game 5 against Chicago on Thursday as Cody Hodgson and Aaron Rome are returning to the lineup in exchange for Victor Oreskovich and Keith Ballard.
Ballard and Oreskovich have played each game in the series. Ballard even played a personal series-high 14 minutes and 50 seconds in Game 4. Hodgson played the first two games of the series, recording an assist and a minus-1 rating. Rome played in Game 2, but logged only 5:27 of ice time. 
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