Vancouver Canucks coach Alain Vigneault's assertion that the Blackhawks ran up the score in their last meeting is the latest wrinkle in their full-blown rivalry.
That rivalry, as many of us know, also includes some name-calling, a line brawl, some hair-pulling, hard hits, run-ins with a certain goalie and on and on.
Vigneault maintained his stance that the Hawks tried running up the score during their 7-1 pasting of the Cancuks in Vancouver on Nov. 20 despite some signs that wasn't the case. The Hawks were coming off a 7-2 loss to the Calgary Flames a day earlier.
''Our intentions were just the opposite of what we got accused of from my point of view,'' coach Joel Quenneville said Thursday.
Interestingly enough, the Canucks come to the United Center after handily defeating the Flames and San Jose Sharks.
"Last night [in Calgary] when the score was 6-2 and we had a power play, I chose to send our fourth line on the ice," Vigneault told the Vancouver Sun on Thursday. "We all have our ways of doing things. I don't need Quenneville or Chicago to do what they did in our building to dislike them more. They have already beaten us twice when it really matters in the playoffs.
"Maybe it was interpreted that way [as criticism], but I was just stating the facts. We got embarrassed and it was their right to do whatever they wanted. It's the coach's right to put whoever he wants on the ice."