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This article was published 27/4/2009 (2619 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The hopes of producing the first Canadian Stanley Cup champion since 1993 now rest firmly on the shoulders of Roberto Luongo and the Vancouver Canucks.
The Canucks were left as the only Canadian-based team left alive in the National Hockey League playoffs after the Calgary Flames were eliminated by Chicago on Monday.
The Flames were downed 4-1 by the Blackhawks in front of a disappointed red-clad sellout crowd at Pengrowth Saddledome. Calgary lost the series 4-2 and has failed to make it out of the first round of the playoffs in four straight seasons.
"I definitely feel a big responsibility and a part of it for not helping us get it done," said Flames captain Jarome Iginla, who was held to three goals and an assist in the series.
Vancouver meets Chicago in the second round, and hopes to succeed where Calgary failed in containing the NHL's youngest team.
Canada's other entry in the 2009 playoffs fared even worse. The Montreal Canadiens were swept in four games by the rival Boston Bruins, bringing a miserable end to their disappointing centennial season.
Montreal was the last Canadian team to hoist the Stanley Cup in 1993 when it beat the Los Angeles Kings in five games. Since then, the Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames and Ottawa Senators have all advanced to the Cup final, but have been unable to break 15 seasons of American dominance.
At least the Canucks seem to have a legitimate shot at ending Canada's drought. They looked firmly in control in a first-round sweep of the St. Louis Blues and were the first team to advance to the second round.
Star goaltender and captain Luongo led the way, allowing just five goals over the four-game series.
Canada's chances to take back the Cup were halved before the post-season even started when Edmonton, Ottawa and Toronto all failed to make the playoffs.