Daniel Sedin Could Play in Game 4 but Won't Save the Canucks from Elimination

Eric McKelvieSenior Writer IApril 17, 2012

Daniel Sedin Could Play in Game 4 but Won't Save the Canucks from Elimination

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    There is a chance Daniel Sedin could suit up for Game 4 between the Vancouver Canucks and Los Angeles Kings.

    Sedin has joined the Canucks in L.A. after being cleared for practice on Monday. Last year’s Art Ross Trophy winner hasn’t played since suffering a concussion on a hit by Chicago’s Duncan Keith late in the season.  

    The President’s Trophy-winning Canucks are down three games to none to the eighth-seeded Kings. A loss Wednesday would give the Canucks a place in history as the first No. 1 seed to be swept by a No. 8 seed.

    While there is no denying Sedin’s skill and his ability to impact a game, the Canucks have too many problems for one player alone to fix.

    Here are five of those problems.

Special Teams

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    The Canucks had the fourth-ranked power play in the regular season, but they have yet to register a power-play marker in the playoffs.

    The Kings' penalty kill has dominated, led by Dustin Brown, who has scored two shorthanded goals.

    The Kings have spent just over 32 minutes on the power play in the series compared to 23 minutes for the Canucks.

    Operating at 15 percent, the Kings' power-play efficiency is just slightly down from 17 percent in the regular season. 

Goaltending

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    Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider have been solid for Vancouver, combining for a GAA of 3.00 and a save percentage of .904.

    Both goaltenders have given the Canucks an opportunity to win and shouldn’t be blamed for any of the three loses.

    Unfortunately, Luongo and Schneider have not been dominant enough to steal a game, which is exactly what Jonathan Quick has done.

    Quick has performed brilliantly throughout each of the first three games. With a GAA of 1.33 and a save percentage of .965, Quick is without a doubt the MVP of the series thus far.

    He continues to carry the load for a Kings team that finished 29th in scoring and often depends on his goaltending to win. 

Ryan Kesler

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    Rendered ineffective by Mike Richards in Game 1, Kesler has not lived up to expectations.

    He’s managed to register only two assists and has had limited scoring chances.

    Kesler’s greatest strength continues to be his ability to act, as somehow he has avoided being called for diving.

    While diving is pathetic and doesn’t belong in the game, Kesler does do the Canucks a small service when one of his falls draws a penalty.

    However, with the exception of drawing penalties, Kesler simply hasn’t maintained his focus throughout any of the three games.

Dustin Brown and Mike Richards

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    Brown and Richards have been a force offensively, combining for five goals and eight points in the Kings' three wins.

    As the Kings top penalty-killers, it's important Brown and Richards stay out of the penalty box.

    They’ve done just that, with Brown tallying only four penalty minutes and Richards none.

    Brown has proven he deserves the "C", playing a great two-way game while averaging just over 21 minutes of ice time.

    Richards, also known for his great two-way play, has played an instrumental role in shutting down the Canucks' scorers.  

Canucks Defence

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    As a whole, the Canucks defence has yet to perform to the standard they set in last year’s playoffs.

    Whether the Kings dump and chase or carry the puck in through the neutral zone, the Canucks are unable to stop them.

    They are being outmatched physically and mentally by the L.A. forwards, who have cycled the puck well in all three games.

    Although Alex Edler has scored, his defensive play has been questionable throughout the series. He is a minus-one and has turned the puck over multiple times in his own end.

    Edler has lacked the toughness and grit that he showed throughout last year’s postseason.