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Stanley Cup close -- but not close enough -- for Canucks

Famed trophy visits Kelowna, fans pray it will inspire team in do-or-die playoff game.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

KELOWNA -- The Vancouver Canucks are so close to the Stanley Cup they could practically touch it, but that doesn't mean the storied silverware will be in Rogers Arena when the Canucks enter Game 7 of their first round battle against Chicago.

Instead, the trophy will be 400 kilometres away in Kelowna, part of an invitation-only tour by a major tire company.

Fans can only hope that positive vibes from the trophy will reach from the Okanagan to the Canucks, energizing a team that was initially picked as a cup favourite.

Vancouver finished first overall in the NHL standings this season and quickly jumped to a three-games-to-none lead in their opening series with the Blackhawks.

But the defending champions -- the team that has eliminated the Canucks in each of the last two years -- has clawed back to even the series at three games apiece.

Critics say tonight's home ice game may be the most important in the history of the Vancouver franchise, with a win setting the Canucks back on track toward the Stanley Cup, while a loss would cement a shocking collapse. 

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