Powerless play not worrying Vigneault

By Nancy Marrapese-Burrell
Globe Staff / June 9, 2011

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Through four games of the Stanley Cup Final, Daniel Sedin has one goal and an assist, and twin brother Henrik Sedin has zero points. But Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said he’s not concerned about the usually dazzling duo now that the best-of-seven series is tied 2-2.

“They’re fired up, they’re playing for the Stanley Cup,’’ said Vigneault. “They spent a lot of time in the other team’s end tonight with no results to show at the end. But it’s not a lack of effort, not from a lack of playing the right way.’’

The Vancouver power play has been atrocious. The Canucks were 0 for 6 in Game 4 after going 0 for 8 in Game 3. They are 1 for 22 in the series (4.5 percent) and 18 for 74 in the postseason (24.3 percent).

“We’ve got to be a lot better, for sure,’’ said Henrik Sedin, who like his brother had two shots on net last night. “That’s helped us throughout the season and throughout the playoffs, but now it’s hurting us more. We lost momentum and they gain momentum on their [penalty kill] so that has to be better.’’

Henrik Sedin said the biggest issue in the two losses — in which Vancouver was outscored, 12-1 — has been the play of Bruins goalie Tim Thomas.

“We have to solve Thomas, that’s our main thing,’’ he said. “I mean, our power play has to get going and we have to do a better job of scoring when we get the chances.

“We’re a very physical team and I don’t think they’re hurting us physically or anything. It’s a battle out there.

“I thought we had enough chances to get a few, but we have to move on. We need to go back home and recharge and get better.

“When top goalies like him are getting hot, it’s tough to score goals. We need to get a greasy one.

“We had a lot of chances tonight. If we get a bounce to the right side of the net, we’re going to get the empty-netter. They seemed to be getting the bounces tonight and we have to work through this.’’

From a confidence standpoint, Vigneault said his team is in a strong frame of mind, despite the two straight losses.

“If somebody would have told me at the beginning of the year that we could play for the Stanley Cup, best two-out-of-three series with home-ice advantage in front of our fans, I would have taken those odds,’’ he said. “I would have taken that any time to play for the big prize.

“That’s what we’ve got right now. We’re going to put these last two games behind us. We play real well at home. We’re going to feed off the energy from our fans and give it our best shot.’’

Wander, wonder
The Canucks think Thomas has been taking too many liberties outside of his designated area. Vigneault has mentioned it on more than one occasion. Yesterday morning, he reiterated the point.

“Part of Thomas’s way of playing is playing out of the blue paint, initiating contact, roaming out there,’’ said the coach. “He seems to think that once he’s out, set, makes the save, that he can go directly back in his net without having anybody behind him.

“Well, that’s wrong. He’s got the wrong rule on that. If we’re behind him, that’s our ice and we’re allowed to stay there. We’ve talked to the NHL about that. We’ve talked to the NHL about him initiating contact like he did on [Henrik Sedin].

“They’re aware of it. Hopefully they’re going to handle it.’’

Vigneault declined to divulge what the league said about Thomas throwing the type of body check he threw against Sedin in Game 3.

“I will tell you, everybody is aware of it,’’ he said. “We got clarification on what is allowable as far as him coming back in his net after he’s out 5 or 10 feet past the blue paint.

“Hopefully everything will get sorted out on the ice.’’

Chipping away
One specific area the league addressed after Game 3 was the nonsense that took place after whistles, with taunting on both sides and assorted chippiness. Canucks forward Manny Malhotra said each team has the ability to get under the other’s skin, which was the case in the first three games. “More of our focus is going to be on playing fast, playing with the puck, but if it tends to get chippy, we have the ability to play that game, too,’’ said Malhotra. “We have the ability to play all different types of games, playing a speed game, playing a rough, grind-it-out game. We’ve shown that all season.’’

Nancy Marrapese-Burrell can be reached at

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