Where in the world are the Sedins?
Twins not factor they were in first round against Blues
BY JIM JAMIESON, THE PROVINCE
MAY 10, 2009 9:04 AM
This was supposed to be the playoffs the Sedin brothers showed they can be difference-makers when it's all on the line.
They were just that in the Vancouver Canucks' opening round series against St. Louis, but in the current series with the Chicago Blackhawks, they haven't been the factor they need to be.
They've had plenty of company among the Canucks forward ranks, but an inability to score even-strength goals against the Blackhawks has Vancouver on the brink of elimination, as they dropped a 4-2 decision in Game 5 on Saturday night to go down 3-2 in the best of seven Western Conference semi-final.
The Sedins -- Daniel and Henrik -- combined for nine points (3-6) to sweep the Blues, but they've been stymied much of the last three games as the Hawks took control of the series.
It got to the point where head coach Alain Vigneault did some serious line juggling in the third period reuniting Ryan Kesler and Alex Burrows and put Mats Sundin on the Sedins' right side.
While Henrik has three goals in the Hawks series, Daniel -- the usual goalscorer of the tandem -- has struggled mightily to find the net. He has no goals in series and none in the last six playoff games.
"I thought we did a better job tonight of getting pucks to the net," said Daniel, who had 31 goals in the regular season. "That's what we've got to keep doing. They're playing good team defence so we've got to just keep going. We got more offence today, but it's got to be better." Daniel had a team high five shots on goal, but couldn't break his spell of awful puck luck. It got so bad that he lost an edge on a rush and ended up taking a holding the stick penalty trying to impeded Hawks D-man Brent Seabrook.
"I think tonight I got a lot more shots," he said. "I've got to keep shooting and see what happens. You can't think too much about it. The next game is too important." Daniel said he felt the team could win again in Chicago to take the series to a seventh game in Vancouver on Thursday.
"We won in there once before so there's no reason why we can't again," he said. "We know it's going to be tough, it's going to be gritty, but we can get it done." Sundin broke out of a prolonged goalscoring funk but the timing was unfortunately too little, too late.
Sundin scored on a booming slapshot from the top of the left face-off circle at 11:16 of the second period to give the Canucks a 2-1 lead and provide some much-needed momentum for his team. He took a cross-ice pass from Henrik and blew the puck past Chicago goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin, who saw the 40-foot shot all the way.
But the goal was just the third even-strength for Sundin in his last 36 games of playoff and regular season action, and just his fifth overall in that span.
Sundin nearly made it 3-1 late in the second, but couldn't handle Kesler's hard pass that would have given him an empty net to shoot at.