Hockey Night In Canada Stanley Cup Playoffs 2011

Vigneault defends the Sedins

Categories: Nashville Predators, VAN vs. NSH, Vancouver Canucks

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Daniel Sedin (22) and his brother Henrik (not pictured) were a combined minus-7 during Vancouver’s Game 5 loss to the Nashville Predators Saturday night. (Rich Lam/Getty Images) Daniel Sedin (22) and his brother Henrik (not pictured) were a combined minus-7 during Vancouver’s Game 5 loss to the Nashville Predators Saturday night. (Rich Lam/Getty Images)

By Tim Wharnsby

Alain Vigneault came to the defence of Henrik and Daniel Sedin on Sunday.

The Vancouver Canucks head coach felt it was unfair the twins, who have scored only an empty-net goal between them in the second-round series against the Nashville Predators, were disparaged for being a combined minus-seven in Game 5 on Saturday.

Miscues by Canucks Mikael Samuelsson, Alex Edler and Kevin Bieksa led to Nashville goals and the other bounced in off Edler, so Vigneault feels the Sedins should escape fault.

"None of them they could do anything," he said. "They couldn't do anything for [Edler] putting the puck in our net, they couldn't do anything on the Samuelsson turnover and they couldn't do anything on the other two turnovers. Sometimes that's an unfair stat."

What hasn't been unfair has been the Predators preying off the Canucks' mistakes and Vancouver's difficulty in closing out opponents in this playoffs.

"Of course we wanted to finish it [Saturday] night," Henrik Sedin said. "We treated it as a Game 7 and I thought we played well enough to win, but we're up against a really good opponent.

"We had enough chances to score more goals, again Pekka Rinne is a great goalie, and we have to find ways to beat him."

Daniel Sedin stated that he and his brother endured a tough plus-minus game in the first-round series against the Chicago Blackhawks, too. It was Game 4, when they were a minus-seven in a 7-2 loss. It's something they will be out to correct on Monday night (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 8 p.m, ET).

"Absolutely, [plus-minus is] something we've focused on and [Saturday] was one more of those games," Daniel said. "We had one against Chicago, too, that hurt us. It's unfortunate, but in the playoffs you have to just bounce back and try to play better the next game."

Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo remarked that the winning formula for his team will be to limit the miscues because the Predators have an ability to capitalize off their opponents' mistakes.

"It's more about ourselves than anything else," he said. "If you look at [Saturday] night they didn't really do anything out of the ordinary or special that made them successful. We made mistakes and it cost us. It's all about us and we know that. When we are playing our game and executing usually we have good results.

"You can't feed their offence, because that's how they are going to generate most of their offence off mistakes and turnovers. We made some that cost us."

Taking it on the chin

Canucks MVP Ryan Kesler, who has scored five of the Canucks' 12 goals in the series, took a shot below his lower lip and had a tooth knocked out in Game 5. The second-line centre didn't know how many stitches were required to close the gash.

"I didn't count," said Kesler, who was asked if he was sore.

"I'm all right."

It appeared more painful for the Canucks that the Predators forced a Game 6.

"Obviously it wasn't in our plan, but all year we've done a good job of focusing on the game at hand," Kesler said. "I thought we did a good job of that [Saturday] night, but for whatever reason we didn't win. Turnovers and things like that. So we're going to focus on this game and not worry about how frustrating it is. We gotta play it and we gotta win.

"We know we're going to have to play a really solid game against these guys. They work extremely hard."

Oreskovich in?

Samuelsson did not make the trip to Nashville. He left with a left leg injury on Saturday. Vigneault would not confirm that Victor Oreskovich would take Samuelsson's spot on right wing on the power play, but he has played in eight of Vancouver's 12 playoff games.