Canucks Re-ignited?

Yes, it’s only been two games out of eighty-two, but in these first two games, I have seen something that I never once saw last year, an absolute determination to keep pushing back when the going gets tough. Could the Sedins find their way back to a point-per-game status? So far, in two games they have combined for 8 points, add in Vrbata and that total goes up to 11 points for their line. The twins making and completing plays in a way that makes them successful instead of focusing on how to change their game is a completely refreshing concept after last year’s debacle of a season.

Game ONE saw the team open the season on the road against divisional rivals the Calgary Flames. The Canucks opened the scoring in the first period with a POWER-PLAY goal, yes one of those ever so elusive man-advantage goals that were near impossible last season from the one and only Alex Burrows. It sure was nice to see Burrows get rewarded for his hard work after being bit by the bad luck bug all last season! The question of whether or not the Sedins could find their offensive prowess was answered with the game winning goal on which vintage sedinery was on full display as they set up their newest partner in crime, Radim Vrbata. The most entertaining moment however was saved for the final minute of the game when Henrik scored an empty net goal….that was pure skill and individual effort and perhaps the best empty net goal scored that I have ever seen:

Game TWO saw the team play their first home game of the year and with it, came great expectations as the fans and players alike had anticipated all summer what could be. Would the fans support the team after the train wreck that was last season?

The anthem was sung, the puck dropped and the building was buzzing from the first minute to the last. It was a game that perhaps from the outset, no one expected it to be particularly high scoring and certainly no one saw the Canucks falling to THREE separate 2-goal deficits before coming all the way back to force overtime AND a shoot out? Let’s be honest, last year a situation that saw the team fall behind would NOT have resulted in the resilience that was shown in this game. Every time the Oilers re-gained their 2-goal lead, while there may have been panic in the eyes of the fans remembering the ghosts of last season, there was ZERO panic in the eyes of the players.

You know what they say, 2-goal leads are never safe and that rang true for Edmonton who had three 2-goal leads but could find a way to stop the resilience that Vancouver was determined to put on display led by the Sedins starting with the first Canucks goal of the night and ending with the game tying goal….and included this beauty they set up for Vrbata:

Let’s be honest, last year had the Canucks been in the situation of being in a two-goal deficit three times, let alone ONCE in one game, they would not have found a way to come back. This time, they not only came back to force a tie, they came ALL the way back to steal two points in the shootout. Ryan Miller, after a shaky start to the came closed out the game with some big saves including stopping ALL three shoot out attempts to preserve his first home ice victory in a Canucks uniform. Seems nearly divine that in the days leading up to this back and forth game that the team was practicing shoot outs right?

It may not have been the ideal game plan that the team envisioned but this game with its back and forth pace had more of a playoff feel to it than simply the second regular season game. Both teams battled for every inch of the ice and kept the fans on their toes as the ending was yet to be determined. It was nice to see the Canucks re-ignite some excitement into their on ice game and in stands.

Oh and hey remember that oh so awful power play from last season? I know it’s early to say that it’s any different…but just two games in and we have been given a glimpse of hope with the team going 3/10 on the man advantage. The passes seem crisper, the shots have increased and momentum seems to actually be gained rather than be detracted. As I said, it is no guarantee of what will be, but it gives fans something that did not exist last year; hope.

Yes, it has only been two games into the 82-game journey that make up the madness that is the NHL’s regular season, but in these two games the team has shown that they won’t go down without a fight. There is a new fire within this team and more smiles in these two games than all of last season. Will they make the post-season? It’s far too soon to tell, but whether they do or not, is up to them and how they play the remaining 80 games. The rest of the story has yet to be written.

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.

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Player Profile: #22 Daniel Sedin & #33 Henrik Sedin

Today's Profile: Daniel & Henrik Sedin.

Today’s Profile: Daniel & Henrik Sedin.

Yes, today’s profile features not ONE but TWO players and the answer to that is simple…you cannot talk about one Sedin without mentioning his brother. The two are nearly inseparable on and off the ice. Their chemistry is so seamless that at times they make a play that looks to be harmless into a sensational showcase of #sedinery.

Daniel and Henrik Sedin were drafted 2nd and 3rd overall in the 1999 NHL draft by the Vancouver Canucks. The opted to delay their NHL debut by signing to play with the Swedish Elite League for one more year following the 1999 draft.

There was a lot of hype about these brothers when they finally did make their debut with the Canucks and they faced a lot of critics [and still do]. The first few years of their careers began with a slow scoring pace that caused much concern for their critics. They did not fully showcase their superstar potential until they returned from MODO following the 2004-2005 lockout for the 2005-2006 season posting a combined 146 points [42 goals, 104 assists].

Fans were given a glimpse of their incredible play making abilities with the placement of winger Anson Carter on their line in the 2005-2006 season. It seemed over the next few years that the coach could place almost any winger on a line with the twins and benefit greatly.

The year to year winger experiment was beneficial to the lucky player placed on their line BUT the Sedins needed a true line mate that could not only benefit from playing with the twins but also benefit the twins.

One day in February 2009, an unlikely experiment was attempted amidst one of the longest losing streaks in franchise history, when the coach placed a pesky winger named Alex Burrows with the twins. A funny thing happened…he fit in even better with the twins than any other player. Did he benefit from his big minutes on the top line? Yes…but he also opened up ice and created space which benefited the twins. It was not long before fans and media alike began calling them the #triplets. Burrows and Sedins together quickly became one of the top offensive lines in the NHL and continue to capture their opponents off guard with their seamless passing and timely goals.

In 906 NHL games Daniel has amassed 758 points [291 goals, 467 assists]. ***Out of his 758 points, 607 of those have come in the 591 games he has played following the 2004-2005 lockout.

In 940 NHL games Henrik has amassed 792 points [182 goals, 610 assists]. ***Out of his 792 points, 646 of those have come in the 622 games that he has played following the 2004-2005 lockout. ***FUN FACT: BOTH brothers achieve their milestone 757th points [to surpass Markus Naslund’s 756 points record!] in their 905th games.

It is hard to imagine them playing apart when they have played together their entire careers [as far back as when they first began to play the sport in Sweden] and have a chemistry playing together that some players never develop. Together they have accomplished many feats: winning gold for Sweden at the 2006 Winter Olympics, back to back ART ROSS trophies[2010, 2011], Henrik won the Hart trophy in 2010, Daniel won the Ted Lindsay award in 2011, together they led the team to the 2011 Stanley Cup Final and helped team Sweden win gold at the 2013 World Championship.

Here are just a few classic #sedinery moments to prepare for next season[because there’s 2 of them, you get a few extra highlights!]:

Remember this beauty when Hank & Danny stole the show?

Can we please sign Hank up for the shootout already?!

This tic tac toe goal features the #triplets getting away with some #sedinery magic

Daniel Sedin scores a highlight reel vs. Minnesota:

Daniel scores late to force OT:

Going into this season, the Sedins will be looking to have a bounce back year putting up big numbers and taking their game to a whole new level as they prepare to earn a spot on the Swedish Olympic team and help the team go on a long playoff run. The keys for the Sedins success will be to not let the opponents distract them from their game and to remain healthy for the majority of the 82 game schedule. When the Canucks open the season October 3rd, look out for the twins to start the year with a new determination as they look to lead the team deep in the spring.

Lastly the Sedins will be looking to extend their contracts before the season’s end as their current ones expire at the end of the year. The twins have made it known that they WANT to STAY & WIN with Vancouver.

#isitOctoberyet #sedinery #hankanddanny #33 #22

As always, until next time, nuck said.

Sarah E.L.