While his teammates danced around the inevitable question about whether Game 3 on Sunday night is a make-or-break game, Ryan Kesler
spoke his mind.
“Obviously it’s a must-win game,” Kesler said. “You don’t want to go down, 3-0. We’re going to take it shift by shift tonight and I think improvement on special teams and continuing our improving our five-on-five play.”
As far as special teams, vancouver cOach Alain Vigneault
may have had the line of the day when discUssing what he’d like to see differently from his special teams.
“Score a goal and not give up a goal,” he said.
The essence of the series so far is that Vancouver has gone 0-for-10 on the power play and allowed two shorthanded goals and three power-play goals. The Canucks have made tweaks such as moving Chris Higgins
from the second power-play unit to the first and replacing Alex Edler with Dan Hamhuis
on the first unit.
Vigneault also said that Dale Weise
will be inserted in place of Andrew Ebbett
on the fourth line.
“There’s obviously a couple of adjustments we need to make here – nothing that we haven’t seen all year,” Vigneault said. “Give them a lot of credit. They’re putting a lot of pressure on us. They’re taking away our space and time. It’s just a matter of us executing better. We’ve done it at key moments this year, we just haven’t done it so far in this series."
Not only is Edler struggling on the power play, but he has had difficulties in all facets of the first two games, serving up giveaways in Games 1 and 2, including two egregious ones that led to goals. Asked if he gives a sort of pep talk to Edler, Vigneault said, “I think all our players right now are [struggling].
“You look at … [L.A. forwards Anze] Kopitar and [Dustin] Brown and take any one of our top forwards right now. Obviously their guys right now are playing a little bit better than ours. It’s a fine line between a win and a loss and whether it’d be Alex Edler or any one of our other players, everybody needs to know that it’s one game. We don’t need to worry about winning four games here. We need to focus on winning one game.”
- Henrik Sedin
- Jannik Hansen
- Ryan Kesler
- David Booth
- Samuel Pahlsson
- Maxim Lapierre
- Manny Maholtra - Dale Weise
Alex Edler - Sami Salo
- Kevin Bieksa
- Christopher Tanev