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Matchups something to watch

Sunday, 04.17.2011 / 4:45 PM

By Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent / 2011 WCQF: Vancouver-Chicago Live Blog

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2011 WCQF: Vancouver-Chicago Live Blog
Matchups something to watch
Players on both sides say they're not worried about who comes over the boards for the other team when they're on the ice, but it’s something both coaches will be concerned with in Game 3.

In the first two games, Vancouver had the luxury of the final line change to match star center Ryan Kesler – a dynamic two-way player—against the Hawks' top line of Toews, Sharp and Hossa. Now that the series has shifted to the United Center, Hawks coach Joel Quenneville will get the last change and likely try to get his top line away from Kesler's as much as possible.

Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault will then have to find ways to match Kesler's line up with Toews' on the fly whenever possible. Kesler's ability in this series thus far is similar to the way injured Chicago center Dave Bolland gave the Canucks' Sedin twins fits last year in the playoffs – only Kesler is also a top goal-scorer.

"He's a good player and he does just about everything right out there," Sharp said of Kesler. "He's a hard-nosed guy. He's in your face. He's got speed, strength and is a 40-goal scorer, as well. He can hurt you in a lot of ways and he's a tough guy to match up against."

Toews went so far as to say the Hawks need to reverse the strategy and target Kesler more – the same way they try to lock down the Sedins.

"He's a guy that maybe we don't focus on enough and maybe we've got to find some ways to expose him a little bit," Toews said. "There's many ways to do that. It's just about doing that tonight. Whatever line's up against that line, you're just as concerned with a guy like him as we are, say, the Sedin twins."
Quote of the Day

I came into a team that had 65 points, that was at the bottom of the basement, a team that everybody wrote off as never going to be good. My goal is to go from the very bottom to the very top.

— Forward Brandon Dubinsky on signing a six-year contract extension with the Columbus Blue Jackets