Richards vs. Sedin? Richards vs. Kesler? Stoll vs. Sedin or Kesler? Beyond the Vancouver Canucks’ decision to start Cory Schneider in goal instead of Roberto Luongo for Game 3, one big difference in Game 3 is that the Kings will have the right to the last line change, meaning Darryl Sutter will have an easier time getting the matchups he desires. Exactly what he desires, in terms of matchups, remains to be seen. Mike Richards’ line did an effective job in Game 1, but in Game 2 the Canucks had more success, all around.
SUTTER: “I think all four of those, when you mention those four guys [Sedin, Kesler, Kopitar, Richards], they all play a lot of minutes, right? In 5-on-5, they all play a lot of minutes. The way the series has went in the first two games, Sedin and Kesler played with a lot of different wingers. So they’re on the ice a lot. Stoll, Kopitar and Richie [Mike Richards], they need their minutes as their players do. So it really comes down not so much to that `me against you’ thing, but how they all play against each other and how much they play.’’
The matchups might change, but the Kings know their mindset can’t afford to change. Willie Mitchell pointed out that the series is “a race to four, and it doesn’t matter how you get there,’’ meaning the Kings’ 2-0 series advantage is meaningless if they don’t win two more games. Jarret Stoll referenced the second round of the 2006 playoffs, when his team, Edmonton, trailed San Jose 2-0 then won four consecutive games.
STOLL: “I’ve played series where we were down 2-0 and came back and won the next four. So, it goes both ways. It has happened lots before. You can’t be relaxed and take your foot off the gas, because momentum changes very quickly and quite often in a series. You’ve got to keep pressing, keep going until that series is over.’’