Sometimes the most obvious solutions are hidden in plain sight. That could be said of Canucks coach Alain Vigneault's decision to take winger Alex Burrows off the Sedins line early in Game 6 of the first-round series with Chicago on Sunday and reunite him with Ryan Kesler. He also moved winger Mason Raymond up from the third line. The three have played together before — as recently as three games in November — but sparingly since Burrows became a regular linemate with Daniel and Henrik midway through the 2008-09 season. The trio was good in Game 6, but off-the-charts dominating in Tuesday's Game 7. They were led by Kesler, who put on one of the greatest individual performances in franchise history. Good timing that he was named Wednesday as one of three finalists for the Selke Trophy as the NHL's top defensive forward. But Burrows did the finishing in Game 7, scoring early to give the team momentum and providing the dramatic overtime winner. Check the O.T. goal, it's a microcosm of the what the line brings: blinding speed, voracious forecheck and the offensive bite to make you pay. The trio held Chicago captain Jonathan Toews to no points and a minus-2 in the 4-3 Canucks loss in overtime in Game 6 and kept him at bay through most of Game 7, although he got his first of the series with 1:56 left on the penalty kill and Kesler not on the ice. "If I go back with the twins, great, if I stay with Kes and Mase we're going to keep trying to play hard and get on the forecheck, and especially those guys with their speed and Kes's strength and size down low," said Burrows. "We'll keep trying to be good defensively, if the puck is not going into the net for us." You can expect to see Mikael Samuelsson back with the Sedins for a third straight game — which was acknowledged by Vigneault during Wednesday's media conference. For Raymond, the moves were something he's joked about at times with Burrows, his road roommate.
Kesler-Burrows-Raymond line mighty formidable
Vancouver Province | Apr 28