True to his nature, Darryl Sutter didn’t mince any words when asked about last night’s Game 4 loss to Vancouver. “We probably played our best game (of the series),” Sutter said, “but we were dominated by the Sedins. Totally dominated by those players.’’ Daniel Sedin returned from his concussion, and he and twin brother Henrik were on the ice for all three Vancouver goals, with Henrik Sedin scoring one of them. The Sedin line — with David Booth — was regularly threatening in the second and third periods, and the twins jump-started the Canucks’ previously moribund power play, which scored twice.
Certainly, limiting the Sedins’ chances will be key for the Kings in Game 5, and it will be made difficult because the Canucks will have the last line change at home and will be able to better dictate matchups. Darryl Sutter, asked how the Kings might adjust, had praise for the Sedins…
SUTTER: “They’re great players, you guys. It’s not, `Why?’ or `How do you adjust?’ They’re great players. They both just finished winning scoring races and Hart Trophies. They’re great players. So, as a team, you don’t adjust to one player. As a team, you have to be very aware when they’re on the ice and what they do.’’
Question: Are you comfortable with any of your three centers matching up against the Sedin line?
SUTTER: “Yeah, I think you have to be, quite honestly, just because they’re all capable guys. It’s not just the centers. The center’s primary responsibility, when other top players are on the ice, is basically how you play in your own zone, how you win faceoffs, how you recover faceoffs, and then how you not turn the puck over as a group. So, I don’t think it’s as much about a matchup. It’s not as much about an individual matchup.’’
It wasn’t just that the Canucks got Daniel Sedin back last night. In a way, they also got Henrik Sedin back, because Henrik appeared far less effective without his brother in the first three games of the series. Today, Jarret Stoll and Anze Kopitar talked about how having two healthy twins changed the look of the Canucks…
STOLL: “They’re different, for sure. Obviously they help each other out. It gives them a lot more depth throughout their lineup, and a lot more confidence probably, too, throughout their lineup. We’ve beat them before with a healthy lineup, so we expect to play better, play well and hopefully win.’’
KOPITAR: “It seemed like they picked up right where they left off. You have to be hard on them. You have to make them earn every inch of the ice, and that’s what we’re going to have to do.’’
Incidentally, for those asking if Henrik Sedin will receive any punishment for his fly-by elbow on Dustin Brown last night, you should probably not hold your breath on that one. Daniel Sedin laughably suggested today, to reporters in Vancouver, “I don’t think he [Henrik] knew what he was doing.” In all reality, the elbow wasn’t even one of the 20 worst things to happen in these playoffs, and only about half of those 20 things have drawn a sniff from NHL discipline czar Brendan Shanahan.