VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- How, Ryan Kesler was asked Thursday morning, do the Vancouver Canucks even out the power-play disparity that stunted their success in the previous two games in Chicago?
"Uhh…good question," the Canucks center said with a wide smile. "How can I put this without getting in trouble?"
Ultimately, diplomacy reigned in a Canucks dressing room aiming not to put itself in multiple, momentum-killing disadvantages against the Blackhawks in Game 5. In Games 1 and 2 at Rogers Arena, the Hawks had five power-play opportunties, the Canucks four.
In Games 3 and 4 at the United Center? The total was 14-6, in the Hawks' favor. There are any number of reasons for it, spoken and unspoken, but the Canucks are well aware it needs to change.
"They are hard minutes, but it doesn't just hurt the guys that are out there on the (penalty kill), it hurts the guys like Hank and Danny (Sedin) that don't get out there as much," Kesler said. "It really gets them out of the game flow. It's going to be important for us to stay out of the box, but it's going to be important for us to be physical out there. Hopefully they'll let us play."
The other solution, besides hoping the officials swallow the whistle? More hustle and more hard work. The Canucks concede the Hawks dominated in those departments in Game 4 and thus it becomes the biggest correction area for Game 5.
"We just have to make sure we get first to those loose pucks and work extremely hard to win those loose pucks without taking penalties," winger Alexander Burrows said. "If we do that, we'll be all right."
Said Henrik Sedin: "I think we've done a good job – not the last game, maybe, but the first couple games. We got in on the forecheck. We can only do our thing and if there's a call, I'm sure the referee is going to make it."