Canucks need Sedin twins’ abilities
This Vancouver team that looked virtually down and out, despite decent efforts in Games 2 & 3, came roaring back from a three game deficit, after a hesitant start last time out, when it became clear as the game moved forward that Daniel was feeling fine.
There are some continued concerns, such as a still worryingly high shot count for the Kings (44) against Schneider, but the ‘Nucks looked to be a much more confident group on the ice with their top goal scorer back in form.
The power play which wouldn’t have troubled a Pee Wee team before, with its 0 for 14 numbers, quickly turned highly dangerous with the vaunted Sedin cycle game back in vogue.
The greater attention that Daniel drew to the top line also began to open up opportunity for the 2nd and 3rd lines.
The domino effect for his Vancouver teammates was suddenly palpable, and it also appears to have planted a significant seed of doubt into Dustin Brown and his boys.
Here are five keys for the masterplan to work.
Power Play Possession
They must continue to make the power play click by dominating possession on the cycle and moving the puck quickly to prevent the Kings disrupting the play high at the entry line.
They must work to avoid too much interplay between themselves alone, and utilize their teammates with their intuitive passing to negate the element of predictability.
When they included their comrades so cleverly in Game 4, it confused LA and turned them into a scrambling unit on the penalty kill.
They must fine tune their clean entries in five-on-five play again to limit LA’s defensive tendencies, because the longer they dominate and manage time in the Kings’ end, the less likely they are to give up odd man rushes the other way.
They need to continue to play with a bit of an edge (within the rules) as they did in Game 4, when both Daniel and Henrik made runs at Dustin Brown, so that the Kings’ propensity to intimidate is nullified.
The perception around the league that the twins are soft targets can begin to end here if they strive to stand up for themselves a little more.
They must continue to lead and inspire their teammates with their calmness, patience and hard work ethic, because as they go, so does the rest of the team who are more than willing to follow them.