He defended it after the Canucks lost Game 1, and now he’s defending it again after they lost Game 3.
He, of course, is Vancouver coach Willie Dejsardins, and “it” is the Sedins’ ice time, which on Sunday in Calgary was just 15:05 for Daniel and 17:04 for Henrik.
“They had the most shifts of any of the forwards; they’re just keeping them short,” said Desjardins, per The Province. “It’s not how much we’re putting them out there, it’s how much they’re staying. They play their best when their shifts are short and that’s a real good sign for us. It’s everybody on the outside that’s really concerned about that. I’m not worried about it.”
We’ll add to Desjardins’ defense by confirming that the Sedins are, indeed, keeping their shifts short. In fact, Daniel’s average shift length in Game 3 was just 36 seconds.
Then again, perhaps that’s not a very good defense at all. The Sedins are able to keep their shifts short because they’re not getting trapped in their own end like some of the other lines, and they’re not getting caught in their own end because they’re the best players on the team. So, maybe it’s time to stop rolling four lines so consistently (some would say stubbornly) and mix it up a bit.
Bottom line: if the twins’ ice time remains in the 15-to-17-minute range and the Canucks end up falling to the Flames, it’s not going to look good on the rookie head coach. Desjardins has gambled on a long series. If Vancouver loses again tonight, it could all be over Thursday.