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Vancouver Canucks

Henrik Sedin - More Than Just A Twin‏

Vancouver CanucksWhen Daniel Sedin went down with a broken foot in Game 4 of this 2009-10 NHL season, many people wondered what would happen to his brother Henrik. After all, they’ve played hockey together all of their lives. There have been a few times where they have been split up, but not many. Also, both have been ironmen in regards to their health, with Henrik currently riding an almost 350-game ironman streak and Daniel only missing a game here and there. It’s not like they’ve had to deal with this kind of adversity very often. The twins seem to have a psychic connection on the ice, one firing blind passes to the other for highlight reel goals. Without Daniel, would Henrik be able to perform at the same level?

Seventeen points in 17 games since Daniel’s injury would seem to answer that question. Granted, there have been times, especially early in Daniel’s injury, where Henrik has looked a little lost out there. Some of those 17 points have been scored in bunches (like Henrik’s hat trick in Saturday’s 8-2 demolition of the Colorado Avalanche). But overall, Henrik has shown that he can be a capable player even without his brother, given a little time to adjust. He still has wonderful eyes that see the ice well. He’s just had to get used to actually seeing the ice rather than instinctively knowing where his brother is. It hasn’t helped that his linemates have been changing while coach Alain Vigneault tries to find a good combination of wingers to play with him. Having Alex Burrows on the line with the twins adds a wonderful combination, with a passer (Henrik), shooter (Daniel) and a banger (Burrows) who can pounce on rebounds and put himself in a position to screen the goalie. Take Daniel off of that line, and Burrows has suffered greatly. Vigneault eventually took him off of the Sedin line. I think that’s what has caused Henrik to begin to shine anew.

One thing that Henrik has discovered with Daniel’s injury, though he was beginning to discover it even before, is that he can actually do some scoring himself. He currently as 12 goals and 11 assists, and I doubt he can remember the last time he had more goals than assists this far into the season. Henrik’s been shooting the puck more, and I think that’s a product of him not having a true shooter on his line. He has 48 shots in 21 games, which must be a record for him. Henrik’s developing into a wonderful all-around player and I can only imagine what this newfound confidence will bring when Daniel does finally return and gets back into form. I also think this new goal-scoring ability will open him up for more assists, assuming that his wingers or defensemen can bury the puck, as the opposing defense will have to honor his shot.

Roberto Luongo jokingly said in the post-game show on CBC Saturday night that he thinks Henrik has handled Daniel’s absence better than Daniel would handle Henrik’s. While he said it with a smile, I think he’s right. I don’t think that’s totally Daniel’s fault, though. While Daniel can do beautiful things on his own, he does value a center who can dish him the puck, and the Canucks don’t have much beyond Henrik to do that. Ryan Kesler is seeing the ice a lot better this year, but he’s nowhere near Henrik in that regard. Meanwhile, Henrik can create his own offense as well as being a good enough passer that any competent winger will be able to bury at least a few of his passes. I don’t think Daniel would be point-less without Henrik, but I also don’t think he’d have 17 points in 17 games either.

Some have suggested that Henrik’s performance during Daniel’s absence makes it possible to split up the Sedins in order to make two lines better instead of just one. These two are so good together, however, that I don’t think you break them up. As I said before, I think Daniel would suffer a little bit without Henrik. These two are fun to watch together and prolific point producers. There’s no way you split them up by choice unless something is drastically wrong. Just because Henrik has shown that he can function quite well without his brother doesn’t mean that he should be forced to do without Daniel when he is able to play again. Once they’re back together, look for Henrik to explode even more than he already has.

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5 comments for “Henrik Sedin - More Than Just A Twin‏”

  1. I’ll try and say this without a HUGE bias, as I have Henrik on my fantasy team, but I agree. I believe Daniel would have suffered far more without his brother than Henrik has (which is little to none). The coming weeks in the Western Conference are shaping up to be very exciting, with Daniel Sedin coming back to the Canucks and Marian Hossa returning to my Blackhawks. We could see some serious explosiveness on the ice. Good read, I enjoyed it.

    Posted by hackettNo Gravatar | November 16, 2009, 3:53 pm
  2. Thanks, Hackett! I’m glad you enjoyed it. I lived in Chicago before I moved out here to Vancouver, so I’m enjoying the Hawks too (though last May was horrifying).

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