For hockey fans in the True North strong and Stanley Cup free, there is but one hope left this season for repatriation of Lord Stanley's mug from the clutches of those that dwell below the 49th parallel.
With the early exits for both the Montreal Canadiens and the Calgary Flames, the weight of the nation will fall on the shoulders of the Vancouver Canucks, hoping to revisit the finals they last participated in a good number of years ago.
Vancouver took care of the Blues in four straight, though the first round series was certainly much harder and much closer at times that those four straight wins might suggest. They now face off agains the rising Chicago Black Hawks, fresh off their hard hitting and intense competition with the Calgary Flames.
While Chicago has proven to be a dangerous opponent and one not to be taken lightly, it was perhaps the match up that best suits the Canucks hopes for a long term run in this years playoff season.
The Canucks match up well with the Hawks, and if they can find some secondary scoring aside from the Sedins line then Chicago may find round two to be a little less rewarding than round one turned out to be.
In the nets the Hawks were still singing the praises of Nikolai Khabibulin's performance against the Flames, but soon may be talking in amazement about the fellow at the other end of the rink as they prepare to face the best that the game has to offer these days in Roberto Luongo.
It should prove to be an entertaining series, as the enthusiasm of the Hawks matches up with the sense of national purpose that will now be passed on to the Canucks.
For those that have longed for a Stanley Cup parade somewhere in Canada in the month of June, the mantra will be simple, for May and June.... They are all Canucks...