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“Johnson understands the mind-set in Vancouver after spending the last two seasons with the Canucks and being eliminated by Chicago in the conference semifinals both years. The rivalry will be renewed on Wednesday when the Canucks host the Blackhawks, who didn't qualify for the playoffs until Sunday. "I can guarantee you yesterday the whole entire league is scoreboard watching, and that includes them," Johnson said Monday on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "And I'm sure they were sitting there hoping there wasn't a plane leaving Chicago today for Vancouver, I can tell you that much. "I think it's great for the game. The last two years the series have been incredible hockey to watch. It's a rivalry that's grown the past few years, and I think it's great for the game and happening for a third time." Vancouver led the NHL with 117 points while the Hawks had 97. The teams split the four-game regular-season series, but Johnson said the Canucks "most certainly" believe the Hawks have their number. "Most people in the game are going to say they're favored, and based on what they did this year, they should be," Johnson said. "We're a team that believes in itself, a very confident team. As much as we've got some inexperience that's been added to our team, you look at what the major core of this team did last year and I like our chances. I'm excited about getting it going."
I'm sure they were sitting there hoping there wasn't a plane leaving Chicago today for Vancouver, I can tell you that much.” -- Ryan Johnson