Is this a flying kick by Henrik, or something else entirely? You be the judge.
(Harry How/Getty Images)
The last time I wrote in this space was before the Final began. I wrote about how many chances the Sedins were getting and how fickle the narrative around their playoff performance has been. It’s time to re-visit this idea.
Clearly, the story in Games 3 and 4 was about, as much as anything, a lack of production of every Canuck. Just one goal for the boys in white, green and blue obviously won’t get your anywhere, but there is some hope. Despite some discussion to the contrary, in Game 4 at even strength, the Sedins were dominant players, outchancing their Bruins opponents 4-1 . Game 3 was almost a completely opposite story as the boys were mediocre at even strength (0-1 for Daniel, 2-1 for Henrik) but unlike Game 4, where they were shutout on the PP, Daniel and Henrik actually put up good numbers on the PP (both 3-0). Daniel was 3-1 in Game 2, but Henrik was an even 2-2 and each produced just a solitary chance on the PP. Game 1, which seems oh so long ago, was a carry over from the previous round for the Twins: 5-1 in ES chances for Daniel, 4-0 for Henrik (also, a PP chance for each).
So, quality stuff for Daniel and Henrik in games 1 and 4, brutal stuff in game 3 (then again, 40% of the 8-1 shellacking was on the PP, so take that for what it’s worth) and basically mediocre in game 2. It’s food for thought. The twins must keep working,my gut feeling after game 4 was, ‘christ, we didn’t get any bounces’ seems to be somewhat accurate; perhaps that’s what should be expected when you get 40 shots on Tim Thomas and NONE go in! Also, the Torres, Lapierre, Hansen line crushed the Boston 3rd line in game 1, prompting a move to Rich Peverley which is a lot harder for Julien to make happen. Matchups will once again be huge for the Canucks, as they do have last change. FInding a way to get the Sedins on the ice as much as possible will force hard decisions for the Bruins defensively, and getting the 3rd line out against Boston’s 3rd and 4th liners will also be crucial. In many ways, the story over the next two games rests on two things: can the Sedins break through and turn their possession into goals, as they’ve done all year; and can Ryan Kesler find something, anything, to get his game going. His whole line looks in a funk, all three of them losing the even strength battle in game 4 1-4. A thought worth considering: flip Raymond and Hansen, see if the Great Dane can use his outstanding forechecking ability to open up some chances for Kesler. Raymond won’t hurt the 3rd line.
There’s tons of hope yet, they are on home ice, they are still getting chances despite the difficulties of the past couple games, and they’ve been under the gun before. Let’s see what tonight brings!
Patrick Johnston lives in Vancouver, bleeds Canucks blue and green (or is it yellow and red..or salmon…or…), and is pretty sure his 14 year old self could’ve done a better job than Rick Ley. You can follow him on twitter at twitter.com/risingaction