Henrik Sedin has officially cemented himself further into Canuck history with his 757 points & counting. It seems very fitting that his 757th point came a on a pass to Burrows, further cementing Hank’s dominance as a premier play maker. By surpassing former Captain Markus Naslund’s 756 points as a Canuck on Feb.15th, Henrik is now the all-time franchise points leader. Congratulations Henrik!! It is quite an accomplishment to with any team. It is impressive that he passed people he previously played with and called his friends [Trevor Linden’s 730 points and Markus Naslund’s 756].
Let’s start this story at the beginning. Henrik and his twin brother Daniel grew up playing hockey in their native Ornskoldsvik, Sweden. Their careers have always been inextricably intertwined beginning with their 3 year tenure with Modo in the Swedish Elite League. Cue the 1999 NHL Draft day and eyes around the world eager to see what order the twins would be drafted in and if they would for the first time in their lives playing separately for different teams. Cue former Canucks GM Brian Burke to make shrewd draft day deals to ensure the Canucks would have both the 2nd and 3rd picks [Daniel 2nd and Henrik 3rd overall]. Up until that day, that twins had prepared themselves to be drafted by separate teams, but in the end were drafted together by the Vancouver Canucks. Although they were considered talented young prospects I do not think that anyone could have guessed how successful they were going to be in the future.
In August 1999, the Sedins opted to play with Modo for one more season before joining the Canucks in the 2000-2001 NHL season. Henrik’s career points total began with him making a play to his brother for Danny’s first NHL goal which would tie the game[he has been a play maker since the very beginning!] forcing overtime. From the 2000-2001 season through the 2003-2004 season both Henrik and Daniel struggled at times to become the players everyone expected them to be but at times there were flashes of the brilliance that seemed to be brimming under the surface[such as when they had Jason King on their line..and fans called them the ‘mattress line:two twins & a king’]. Then the 2004-2005 lockout happened forcing players to play elsewhere leading the Sedins to join their teammate Markus Naslund to play once more for Modo in Sweden. Henrik finished third in team scoring for Modo that year, 36 points in 44 games.
When the NHL picked back up in the 2005-2006 season, the twins came back with a new determination to prove themselves in this league. Henrik and Daniel were put on a line with Anson Carter and the trio would establish themselves as an exciting line to watch. Henrik finished the year with 75 points, second only to Markus Naslund. It was only the beginning of his top line potential. In 2006 Henrik and his brother Daniel joined fellow Canuck Mattias Ohlund in Turin, Italy to represent Sweden in hockey at the Winter Olympics. As you will remember, that was the year that the Sweden team won the gold meda The Canucks would make some changes in the 2006 off-season, most notably trading Todd Bertuzzi and acquiring Goalie Roberto Luongo, and also another player by the name of Taylor Pyatt who would find himself playing the majority of the season with the twins[and greatly benefited from it, posting his best numbers that season]. The Canucks posted their first 100+ point regular season prior to the 2007 post season. One of the most notable performances from the 2007 playoffs was game 1 of the first round vs. the Dallas Stars, Henrik scored the game winner in quadruple overtime. The 2007-2008 season, Henrik posted a personal best 81 points following that up with 82 points in the 2008-2009 season[coincidentally his brother also posted 82 points that season!]. I feel I must also mention that this was the season that the Canucks had a horrendous losing streak somewhere around January and did not turn it around until February 10th[when Burrows broke the streak with a beautiful shorty!…but more on that at a later date!]. During that horrendous streak no one thought it possible the Canucks could make the playoffs let alone win their division which they did. Shortly after that losing streak was broken, Coach Vigneault made an interesting move to put Alex Burrows on the top line with the twins much to most people’s surprise. Needless to say those who doubted even the possibility of that occurring, quickly had their doubts quieted when that line became a permanent fixture and what we now call #thetriplets. Each game those three play together is pure magic and no one has ever fit as seamlessly with the twins like Burrows. The Canucks got on a roll in February and once again posted a 100+ points regular season catapulting them to a playoff match up against St.Louis. It marked the first time in franchise history that the Canucks ever swept a series. Cue the first year of playing the dreaded Chicago Blackhawks….well we all know how this one ended. In the off-season the twins were set to become free agents on July 1st 2009, and many teams were chomping at the bit toying with the idea that the twins would be available. July 1st came with the announcement that they had signed identical 5 year deals with the Canucks worth $30.5 million.
The 2009-2010 season saw Henrik reach even high levels, and solidifying his place on the all-time Canucks list. Daniel missed 18 games early that season forcing Hank to play without his brother and leading many to question if it was even possible….well lets see he posted 18 points in those 18 games[including his first ever hat trick!!!!]. Henrik did more than answer his critics that season, he lead the Canucks and league wide scoring with 112 points that season[topping Pavel Bure’s 110 record]. Henrik won the Art Ross trophy[beating BOTH Crosby & Ovechkin] as well the Hart trophy, marking the first time either trophy has been won by a Canuck player[did I mention that despite missing 19 games, Daniel posted 85 points in 63 games & their triplet Burrows scored 35 goals!]. The twins and Burrows were playing better than anyone thought possible. The Canucks again won the division, and earned a spot in the playoffs, this time they would meet the LA Kings in the first round. The stand out moments in this one from Henrik was game 5 when he scored the go-ahead goal which would eventually be the winner late in the third period…and catapulted the Canucks to their game 6 series clinching victory. Cue a second straight year of facing the Chicago Blackhawks in round 2. We all know how this one ended….the same as the year before a loss in game 6.
The 2010-2011 season was full of magic and surprises. It was the 40th anniversary of the Canucks joining the league, and opening night saw Henrik named as the 13th captain in team history. Henrik’s incredible year before challenged both himself and his brother to play even better. This time it was his brother that won the Art Ross with 104 points [Henrik posted a very respectable 94 points that season]. The Canucks absolutely dominated every aspect of the game that season :powerplay, faceoffs, penalty kill, and posted the lowest goals against average. The Canucks won the Western Conference and the Presidents Trophy as the top team in the league for the regular season. Playoffs arrived with higher expectations than ever before. Cue the dramatics…the Canucks were facing off against the Chicago Blackhawks for the THIRD straight year[albeit in the 1st round]! This time the team vowed the outcome would be different…and all signs pointed to yes when they put themselves up 3-0, however Chicago was not going to walk away quietly….they matched the Canucks tying the series 3-3 forcing a most dramatic game 7. You could not script this game any better…game 7 between two bitter rivals and an entire city on the edge of their seats. Cue overtime and increased adrenaline….a penalty to the home team….and HUGE kill and then my favourite part….the GOAL to send the Blackhawks packing. It was an epic game 7. The Canucks survived, moving on the play Nashville in round 2. Impeccable goal-tending was present on both sides, and all the games were a huge defensive battle. This series was not the same intensity level as the one before but when the Canucks won game 6 the excitement level was higher as it was a HUGE step for the franchise[not to mention this series was the one that ignited #Beastmode in Kesler] ! Bring on the San Jose Sharks and Big Joe[Thornton] and Niemi. Cue a 3-1 series lead with a chance to finish out the series in front of the home crowd. Down 2-1 with and less than 20 seconds on the clock….some ingenious passing and refusing to giveup Kesler to tie the game….and bring on double overtime…CANUCKS won. Cue the confetti. The Sedins and special teams dominated this series against the Sharks. It was an incredible moment for the franchise. Cue the Stanley Cup final vs. the Boston Bruins. The series had its ups and downs, there were some great moments [games 1, 2 &5]. Ultimately we all know how close the Sedins and the team came to capturing their first championship. One game away. Sometimes it happens that way, but the key is to never give up. Every team will get its chance to win the prize.
2011-2012 was not quite as dominant of year by the Canucks or Henrik and Daniel, but they still captured the President’s trophy. The playoffs were marred by the loss of Daniel 10 games prior to the end of the year due to dirty hit by Duncan Keith that left him concussed. Henrik led the Canucks streaking through those last 10 games to solidify their playoff positioning, but the loss of Daniel was too great at the start of playoffs. The Canucks ultimately lost the first round.
2012-2013 was a delayed start due to Bettman’s third lockout but that has not stopped Henrik and Daniel from playing with the same style that saw them capture back to back Art Ross Trophies. The twins recently were reunited with Alex Burrows and have not lost a beat since being put back together. Feb.15th 2013 Henrik reached his latest milestone as a Canuck [one which Daniel will be quick to follow him to if history has anything to say!] becoming the all time franchise points leader.
Upon achieving this milestone, Henrik simply said: “To be a part of something like that and getting a chance to get the record on home ice in front of your home fans, it was an honor and a great feeling out there. It means a lot to me.” Henrik Sedin is the epitome of a class act and it is an honour to have him wearing the blue and green. Henrik has not missed a game since March 2004. I look forward to seeing what #sedinery Hank & Danny will surprise us with the rest of the season. I have absolutely no doubt that BOTH him and his brother Daniel’s numbers will be added to the rafters as well that they will BOTH be added to the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Next up, the Canucks [8-3-3] will take on the red hot Blackhawks[12-0-3] and attempt to be the first team to break their undefeated in regulation streak. I think the Canucks just might be up to the challenge. What say you?
Rumor has it that David Booth is going to be making his season debut in the line-up tomorrow night in Chicago.
As always until next time, nuck said.