Frozen Royalty: Drew Doughty, Jack Johnson Prove To Be Vancouver Canucks’ Biggest Problems
LOS ANGELES AND EL SEGUNDO, CA — With Game 4 of their Western Conference Quarterfinal playoff series against the Vancouver Canucks coming up tonight (April 21, 7:00 PM PDT at Staples Center), much of the focus has been on the Canucks’ inept penalty-killing, which has allowed seven power play goals on just twelve chances after three games.
The result: the Canucks are looking up at a 2-1 series deficit with a huge challenge ahead of them…fixing their penalty-killing woes.
But the problem for the Canucks is not just their penalty-killing. More to the point, their problem is two-fold and they go by the names Drew Doughty and Jack Johnson, the young studs on the Kings’ blue line.
Indeed, the twenty-year-old Doughty and the 23-year-old Johnson are still very young, relatively inexperienced defensemen. But in the three games played in this series they have totally outclassed the Vancouver blue line corps, contributed huge minutes in situations where they were called upon to shut down the Canucks’ top forwards, and they have been unstoppable on the power play.
Throughout the regular season, Canucks forwards Henrik and Daniel Sedin proved to be a deadly forward combination, with Henrik attaining superstar status after leading the league in scoring with 29 goals and 83 assists for 112 points in 82 games.
But through three playoff games against the Kings, the Sedin twins have combined for just two goals and four assists for six points.
Neither has scored a power play goal.
If you find all that hard to believe, you are not alone. Nevertheless, solid defensive play by Kings center Michal Handzus, who has gone up against the Sedin twins as often as Kings head coach Terry Murray can get him on the ice, along with Doughty’s smart defensive zone play, have combined to put a huge clamp on the Sedin twins.
Read the rest on Frozen Royalty.