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McKenzie: Sedins, not Kesler, get better of Thornton matchup

Bob McKenzie

5/15/2011 11:23:23 PM

Some thoughts from the NHL on TSN panel on Sunday night:

If you look at what the Vancouver Canucks started with, we knew there was going to be a head-to-head matchup in Game One against the San Jose Sharks. We expected there to be a matchup between Joe Thornton and Ryan Kesler, and sure enough, there was.

The two big men for each team, right off the opening face-off, got going. But as the game wore on, Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault realized that Joe Thornton was kind of having his way with just about everybody on the team, so he switched it up.

Later in the second period, the Sedins really started to get something going and it was against Thornton's line. And then the Sedins went to work and created the Bieksa goal and then a great power-play goal for Henrik.

Now the funny thing is, Henrik ends up with a goal and an assist and he was a guy that was definitely looking for some confidence, but Daniel blocks a shot in the third period when the game was on the line.

Looking at Daniel Sedin's line, he has no points and yet he played a terrific game. They started to have a lot more zone time, they carried the play down low and they created a lot of offence that early on wasn't getting rewarded.

As the game wore on, the Sharks stared to break down and we're starting to see a familiar pattern here for San Jose in terms of not being able to hold a third period lead.

But Henrik Sedin got the monkey off his back early in this series, and with a goal and an assist, he looks good. And there weren't questions like "where were the Sedins?" being asked after Game 1. They played a good game.