Sometimes a clear, blunt message outside of a local establishment is the best way to motivate the home side. Canucks fans, I know this is hard to believe right now, but there are far worse forms of hockey signage.

History could really, really be made in Vancouver

Coming back from being down 3-0 in a seven-game series isn’t supposed to happen. But tonight the Canucks could be just the fourth team in league history to relinquish their death grip on a series, and the first team to win the Presidents’ Trophy and then flop after earning that commanding first round lead.

They should be worried, but they’re not. Or at least that’s what captain Henrik Sedin told the Vancouver Sun.

“We’re not thinking about losing a 3-0 lead or anything. It’s not on our minds. We’ve got a Game 7 at home and we’re looking at it from the positive side. We’re looking forward to a long road ahead. It’s up to us to do it.”

We claim to be many things were at HOTH. We’re all authors of our own series of children’s books, and you’ll be able to see all six of us standing as members of the Queen’s guard Friday, making the newest royal couple is safe. But we’re not psychiatrists, so we can’t pretend to possess the ability to read the minds of the Canucks.

What we do know though is that Boston said all the right things prior to losing a three-game lead last spring. We also know that four of us live in Toronto, a city that’s still very much within the danger zone if Vancouver losses tonight. Hopefully Montreal Cop Car didn’t take a trip out west.

The secret weapon has been summoned

Keith Ballard, the Canucks’ $4 million defenceman, will return to the lineup tonight along with Tanner Glass. Ballard had a comfortable seat in the press box to watch games five and six, while glass is replacing rookie Cody Hodgson.

The Hawks will be without Bryan Bickell, who had wrist surgery on Monday. Bickell will be likely replaced by either Fernando Pisani or rookie Marcus Kruger.

Next time, Danny Briere will deliver a head butt to the mid-section

In tonight’s other Game 7 between Buffalo and Philadelphia, the Flyers will continue their goaltending embarrassment roulette while trying to avoid an upset of their own. If the Sabres want to pull off that upset, Patrick Kaleta should probably stop referencing divorces in his smack talk.

Patrick, we all know that two things are off limits during verbal sparring: mammas, and baby mammas. Next time, Briere will summon his inner Zinedine Zidane.

Hal Gill lives a simple life

In a matter of hours Canada could be without a playoff team, with both the Canucks and Canadiens facing elimination tonight. For the Habs to pull their weight they need to force a Game 7 against the Bruins tomorrow night back in Boston.

Given the narrow margin of victory over the past three games in the series (Boston has won all three by a combined score of 11-7), there’s little doubt that tonight’s game will be tight. To handle the pressure, defenceman Hal Gill told the Montreal Gazette that he believes in a simple approach.

Asked what the key to winning would be, Gill deadpanned: “for the most part, to score more goals than them.”

Saves of the week