Chicago Blackhawks\' Ben Smith celebrates with teammates after scoring the game winning goal against the Vancouver Canucks during the over period in Game 6 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs first-round series Sunday, April 24, 2011, in Chicago. The Blackhawks won 4-3. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
CHICAGO - Hockey fans in Chicago are feeling pretty good. So are their columnists, after the Blackhawks' latest comeback against the Vancouver Canucks.
The defending Stanley Cup champions pulled even with league-leading Vancouver with a 4-3 overtime victory Sunday night that saw the Canucks start Cory Schneider in place of star goalie Roberto Luongo.
"Chicago, delirious. Vancouver, suicidal," wrote Chicago Tribune columnist Steve Rosenbloom.
"The first one, I'm sure about. The second is a good guess. This is a meltdown of epic proportions, even for the weak-willed Canucks. There’s not enough Kokanee (beer) in British Columbia to anesthetize the province."
Added Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times: "No, there is no measuring the heart of a champion. But it's easy to tell when a team doesn't have it, and you don't, Canucks."
The Blackhawks, who have rallied from a 3-0 deficit, face the Canucks in Vancouver on Tuesday for the series' decider.
"Going into Game 7, the Hawks have all the momentum against a character-challenged team that apparently will be stuck starting its Vezina Trophy finalist in goal," said Rosenbloom. "That's the Vezina Trophy finalist the Canucks didn't want to start Game 6. That's the Vezina Trophy finalist who has been destroyed for 11 goals on 53 shots in the last three games.
"You have to like the Hawks' chances, eh?"