Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 04/17/12 at 12:53 PM ET
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Vancouver finds itself in a hole, not because of its goaltending issues or its perceived lack of toughness or even because defenceman Alexander Edler is struggling to meet his considerable potential.
The Canucks are behind because they cannot score, and they cannot score largely because their most-talented goal-scorer – Daniel Sedin – isn’t playing. This has a spillover effect on Henrik Sedin, a playmaker extraordinaire, who isn’t having the same luck setting up his current linemates as he does when his twin brother is patrolling the wing.
The Kings are Vancouver’s match defensively, even with all hands on deck. (That’s what happens when you boast a Vézina Trophy candidate in goal (Jonathan Quick) and a high-end defenceman (Drew Doughty) with the proven ability to raise his game in pressure situations.)
On paper, Vancouver’s primary edge was it has more difference makers up front; and if every game was going down to the wire, that should tilt the balance slightly in its favour.
So far, it’s gone the opposite way. Los Angeles is producing all the key offensive plays with the game on the line (Mike Richards in the first game, and Dustin Brown in the last two).
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