VANCOUVER — With just three points between them, you have to wonder if Henrik and Daniel Sedin, and Ryan Kesler are just out of gas or if the Canucks’ offensive stars are waiting for the biggest moments of the Stanley Cup Final to bust out against the Bruins.
Henrik Sedin has not recorded a point, while Kesler has an assist and Daniel Sedin has a goal and an assist (both in Game 2) heading into tonight’s Game 5 with the series tied at two games apiece.
At home or on the road, the Bruins have been able to get their shutdown pair of Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg, as well as center Patrice Bergeron, on the ice against the Sedin twins and Alex Burrows almost at will.
“I think this is something guys face throughout the whole year, you play a lot of teams that have those kind of players in our conference, whether it’s the Crosbys and Malkins, of course Detroit, Zetterberg, Datsyuk, you have to be able to play against those guys in a way that you certainly have to have a whole group doing the job,” said Bruins head coach Claude Juline yesterday. “I don’t think you really rely on one guy.
“I know Zdeno, Seidenberg have been credited with a lot of that stuff, deservedly so. We have to rely on other guys to come back and do the job as well. It’s just about being focused on who is out there and when they’re out there be aware of it.”
Kesler entered this series with 18 points in 18 games. Henrik Sedin still leads the team with 21 playoff points, but he recorded all of those in the first 18 games. Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault think his team can still rely on its stars to awaken and carry the club to victory.
“They’re elite players, and if we’ve gotten to where we are today it’s because our top players have been, on most nights, the best players on the ice,” said the Vancouver bench boss. “We’re no different than anybody else. Obviously we need those guys to play up to their standards, and they will. We faced adversity throughout the season in many shapes and forms. We are playing against a real strong opponent right now, we’ve got a lot of respect for how the Bruins play and what they bring to the ice surface.
“But we’re also a very good team and we’ve proved it in the past and we’re going to set out to prove it [Friday] night.”