The Redheads are coming!
That has never been truer when we take the time to realize the treasure that we have right now with the Sedins.
Henrik Sedin & Daniel Sedin have taken more than their fair share of criticism, especially in the Stanley Cup Finals, but I firmly believe that the loss of Dan Hamhuis to injury then, coupled with inconsistent goaltending and a lack of a physical presence, was what really ended the Vancouver Canucks’ chances to win the Stanley Cup.
There is not the slightest chance of a Swedish snowball in hell that Vancouver would have come within a wispy Mason Raymond whisker of making the final without the twins.
Over the past few games, including the last two match-ups with both highly placed Detroit and Minnesota, we have been treated to the Sedins at their best.
Their skilled forward play keys the rest of the team offensively, and, with their improved back checking, the team’s play has dramatically climbed from the depths of the early season.
There are several elements of their game that cause the redheaded step children to stand out.
Just call it Sedinery.
Puck Possession and the ability to create space
Powerful teams in sports cannot dominate games unless they dominate possession of the ball or puck.
The outstanding franchises of the past couple of years such as Barcelona’s all-time great soccer team, the Green Bay Packers football squad, and Kobe’s basketball Lakers all excel at gaining and maintaining possession.
The Sedins allow Vancouver to play a similar theme. Their patented cycling game, utilizing delayed passes, nifty feints and pauses, causes opponents to skate desperately around their own zone, thus opening up lanes and space for other Vancouver players to work within.
Ability to bring other players into games
This skill at manufacturing space is critical because it gives lesser talented teammates the opportunity to find time and room to set up their shots. It is no wonder that seemingly any player added to their line starts to see a very satisfactory leap in their goal tallies.
Jannik Hansen is already at a career high in goals this year thanks mainly to a productive stretch on the twins’ line, with Burrows out, that raised the Dane’s confidence and that has carried on to his third line place.
Burrows himself was a third tier pro, in the ECHL, who has used his innate chemistry with the Sedins to cement his status as a top player in the NHL.
Thinking on the fly
The speed of thought exhibited by the twins is also indispensable as it allows them to maintain an air of unpredictability.
For instance, the 4-2 victory over Detroit last night featured an inventive headed pass of the puck by Daniel into the Detroit zone to avoid an offside. This uncertainty keeps opponents on their toes, preventing them from clamping down on any one aspect of the Sedin’s play.
Wearing out top defensive pairs
The upshot of Henrik and Daniel’s domination is that their ability to occupy and wear out the opposing lead defensive pair gifts the strong Kesler and Cody Hodgson led second and third lines to skate against weaker defensive adversaries.
Hodgson in particular is profiting greatly from his exposure to the bottom defensive pairings and has piled up the points this year.
As Henrik and Daniel resume their customary places at the top of the scoring race, the team is improving in kind.
The Canucks appear to potentially have added to their depth and, led by their Sedinery, are creating another fine season.