Sports Hockey

Keeping up to speed

By Hosea Cheung, 24 hours Vancouver

Speed looks to be the theme for this second round match-up between Vancouver and Chicago.

The young Blackhawks team packs plenty of skill into their game, but one thing that differs them from the St. Louis Blues is the fact that their defencemen love to jump up on the play.

With that in mind, Vancouver will be looking for the counter-attack.

"That's gonna be the main key," said Alex Burrows. "They got guys who like to join the rush, and their system is more offensively-oriented then St. Louis was. If we play well defensively and force them into turnovers, we're going to get a lot of chances going the other way."

One of the faster skaters on the Canucks, Mason Raymond, says back-checking will be important as well.

"They've got some D-men that can skate that puck, for us we got to make sure we have a good third-man high and guys coming back," said Mason Raymond. "It's tough when you got back pressure, they can't dipsy-doodle as much."

Wednesday practice note: Although coach Alain Vigneault refrained from naming his lineup for Game 1, Taylor Pyatt and Jannik Hansen were the odd men out during some of the forward line drills. However, there were no missing players as the team appears healthy and anxious to play.