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Canucks try to energize Sedins with speedy Raymond

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TSN.ca Staff
10/30/2008 1:22:44 PM
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With the world struggling in the midst of a financial crisis, leave it to Vancouver Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault to use it as an analogy for the struggling Sedin twins.

"They're a little bit like the stock market right now," he told reporters with a slight smile. "They're plunging, and history says the stock market comes right back up and I have to believe the twins are the same way."

Nowhere are the twins' problems more evident than on the score sheet. After tallying two goals and five points in his first two games, Daniel has just one assist in his last seven. Henrik, meanwhile, has been held pointless in the last three games.

And as the Sedins go south in the stats department, so does their offence. Their power play is ranked 19th in the league at 16.7 percent and the club begins a short two-game road trip averaging just 2.67 goals per game as the visiting team.

With that in mind, Vigneault will attempt a market correction to raise the value of his struggling Sedin stock. Steve Bernier has been moved to the second line with Kyle Wellwood and Taylor Pyatt while Mason Raymond - arguably the team's best forward so far this season- joins the twins on the No. 1 unit.

"Obviously we need a way to get Daniel and Henrik to contribute offensively," said Vigneault. "And right now, one of our best offensive personnel has been Mason. He's been getting a lot of offensive chances, his skating has allowed him to get to open ice, so we'll try that and see what we can come up with during the games."

Despite the Sedins' slow start, there is no question this year's edition of the Canucks are more skilled, fast and certainly play a much more entertaining brand of hockey. But with a 4-5 record - the same as it was a year ago - are they better?

"I think so," said Daniel. "We're losing games so of course it's frustrating. You have to analyze it and try to fix it. We've been good at moving the puck on the power play but we haven't been able to hit the net with our chances. If we do that, we'll be fine."

If Raymond's recent play is any indication, the Sedins should be in for a big boost. The 23-year-old scored twice in Saturday's 6-3 win over Edmonton and was on a five-game point scoring streak before Tuesday's shutout loss to Boston.

"I think they're (the twins) a pretty dynamic duo," Raymond told TSN. "I'm not reading too much into it, I'm trying to keep things simple - stick to what I do best and play my game. I'm excited to get this opportunity and make the most of it."

Vigneault will be counting on Raymond, one of the team's fastest skaters, to add speed to the Sedins' attack.

"A lot of their chances do come on the rush and maybe they'll create more from there instead of cycling (the puck)," he explained. "With Mason there, they might go to the net a little bit quicker."

Perhaps the most encouraging sign as the Canucks head out for their Southern California road trip is the play of captain and goaltender Roberto Luongo. He received an unscheduled visit from goalie coach Ian Clark last week, and on Tuesday looked as good as he has at any time this season.

Mason Raymond and the Sedins (Photo: Dale MacMillan/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Dale MacMillan/Getty Images)
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