April 17 2009 08:31AM
The player above is Rick Rypien. He had a poor game in the first match of this series; his line spent much of its time being pinned in their own end by the St. Louis Blues. By my count he had only one good shift, where he was throwing his body around, but he left his feet on a hit to end the shift and wound up in the penalty box.
It was a common occurence on Wednesday, for the entire team. Vancouver did a good job of setting a physical tone, but unfortunately they did a bad job of doing it without taking stupid penalties. They had some good luck in that veteran opponents like Keith Tkachuk and Jay McKee had the same problem, and that they managed to kill off a lengthy 5-on-3, mostly due to the heroics of Mitchell, Kesler, Burrows and Luongo. They managed a saw-off on the special teams with St. Louis, with one goal each.
In the third, when they settled in and stopped running their opponents so much, the Canucks dominated the game. St. Louis could generate very few quality chances at even-strength, and if the Canucks want to end this series as quickly as possible, sticking to five-on-five play is a must. The Blues have better special teams, but the Canucks are far superior five-on-five.
Aside from that team-wide need for discipline, the Canucks need more from Mats Sundin. They can't be dragging him around all playoffs. Hopefully it was just a bad game on his part, because if the rumours of hip problems are true it will be trouble going forward.