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Los Angeles Kings Are All Singing The Same Tune After Game 4 Loss To Vancouver Canucks

Vancouver Canucks forward Daniel Sedin, shown here being mobbed by the media
after practice on April 17, one day before he led his team to a Game 4 victory
over the Los Angeles Kings in their first round playoff series
(click to view a larger image).
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

LOS ANGELES AND EL SEGUNDO, CA — After blowing their chance to sweep the Vancouver Canucks out of the first round of the National Hockey League playoffs after a 3-1 loss in Game 4 on April 18, the Los Angeles Kings were singing the same tune, so to speak, after watching brothers Daniel and Henrik Sedin skate circles around them in the second and third periods.

“We had chances to finish, but I don’t think we finished as many checks as we should have on those two, in particular,” said right wing and team captain Dustin Brown. “Both of them were good. They’re pretty dynamic when they’re together. We have to take their time and space away, and be physical with them if we want to nullify them in Game 5.”

“We had a good start, but we let up in the second,” said center Anze Kopitar. “That got them into the game, and they were making plays. We gave them too much space, and too much time. With the personnel they have, they can make some good plays.”

“It seemed like [the Sedins] picked up right where they left off,” added Kopitar. “You have to be hard of them. You’ve got to make them earn every inch of the ice. That’s what we’re going to have to do.”

Picked up right where they left off? If you ask head coach Darryl Sutter, that is an understatement.

“We were totally dominated by the Sedins,” he lamented. “Totally dominated by those players.”

That domination was most visible during a Vancouver power play early in the third period, when the Canucks, led by the Sedins, passed the puck around the attacking zone as if the Kings’ penalty-killers weren’t even there. In fact, they had the Kings turning and spinning on their heels so much, and so quickly, that they were probably dizzy—the Canucks made the Kings look absolutely silly on that power play, ending with a goal scored by Henrik Sedin at the 5:45 mark.

“We let the Sedins off the hook,” said right wing Justin Williams. “They passed the puck around, they found open spaces, and scored a big goal.”

As for adjustments to be made heading into Game 5 (April 22 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver; time to be determined as of this writing), Sutter pointed out that it is not that simple.

“[The Sedins are] great players,” he noted. “It’s not why, or how do you adjust. They’re great players. They both just finished winning scoring races and Hart Trophies. So, as a team, you don’t adjust to just one player. You have to be very aware of when they’re on the ice, and what they do.”

Despite that, it all goes back to that time and space thing.

“We have to limit their time with the puck,” said Williams. “It’s hard, but it’s something we need to do. They thrive on puck possession, give-and-go’s, and beating people going to the net. We were just kind of in the middle [in Game 4].”

“I just think we need to be harder on their top players,” Brown stressed. “Their top players controlled the game. I thought we got away from our game plan a little bit. We didn’t finish our checks as much, we weren’t as physically into the game as we were in the first three [games].”

“We did a good job in the first three games, but we were a little loose in our coverage [in Game 4], and they picked us apart,” said center Jarret Stoll. “We know we’ve got to be better there. Defensively, [we need to be] quicker, faster, more physical. We can’t give them the time and space that we gave them.”

But as skilled as the Sedins are, one cannot get too aggressive.

“They’re tough guys to be aggressive against,” Sutter noted. “They’re pretty smart guys. If you can do it in a time and space fashion, and not take a penalty, you have a chance.”

Raw Audio Interviews

(Extraneous material and dead air have been removed)

Dustin Brown (2:47)

Justin Williams (2:36)

Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault (4:02)

Jarret Stoll (8:27)

Anze Kopitar (3:50)

Darryl Sutter (9:49)

Related Videos

2012 Western Conference Quarterfinal, Vancouver Canucks vs. Los Angeles Kings, Game 4 Highlights, April 18, 2012

Used with permission. All videos provided by KingsVision at LAKings.com, or NHL.com require Adobe Flash Player. As such, they are not viewable on iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch).

 


Tickets for the Kings’ upcoming home playoff games against the Vancouver Canucks – April 24, 2012, TBA – Canucks vs. Kings: Game 6 {if necessary}), are available from Barry’s Tickets, an official partner of the Los Angeles Kings. Use the code, “Royalty010” to get a 10 percent discount on their “Best Value” tickets.


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One Response to Los Angeles Kings Are All Singing The Same Tune After Game 4 Loss To Vancouver Canucks

  1. Roger says:

    Both the good and the bad news is we have not played our best hockey.

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