Its great to see our team and our players, so often ignored by the mainstream hockey media, finally getting some time in the spotlight. With our strong play of late, the Canucks have made it nearly impossible for NHL writers to continue to overlook the west-coast team. I mean, not only do we have the hottest line in hockey and a 7-game winning streak going, but the Canucks have four players (Sedins, Burrows, Ehroff) in the league's top-six in +/- and of course Henrik leading the scoring race.
In the article, Wyshynski admits that, because of the lower profile of the Western Conference, "no one realizes how good the sedins are", and he also declares the Twins world-class goal-scorers, referring to them in the same sentence as Alex the Great. Also, the piece points out the possibility that the Sedins and the Canucks themselves might be singlehandedly attracting more attention from the national media toward the underrated, highly skilled Western Conference.
All I can hope for is that the twins and our beloved Canucks continue their remarkable play of late, and continue to gain national praise for themselves, and make the rest of the world stop and acknowledge the great hockey that is being played outside of the superstar-dominated Eastern Conference.
"There are certain disadvantages to playing in the Western Conference. For one thing, many of your opponents will be good at hockey, and therefore it's hard to win games (this is, of course, not true of the Eastern Conference). For another, it's very hard to get any amount of publicity.
An example: Did you know Henrik Sedin(notes) leads the league in points, and has for a considerable amount of time?
It's true. I looked it up on NHL.com just now. For those unfamiliar, he's the one that has a brother that looks just like him.
I've always been a big fan of both Henrik and Daniel Sedin(notes). I think they play an entertaining style and, well, they're incredibly underappreciated.
Fun fact about Henrik: He has scored 75 or more points in each of the last five seasons (he now has 78 with 28 games to go this year). Some notable players to not do that are Jarome Iginla(notes), Dany Heatley(notes),Dany Alfredsson and Marian Hossa(notes).
Not that you'd know that. Even within the Vancouver media, there was constantly talk that the Sedins were "not first-line players." And no matter how many corpses were dropped on their line, they piled up points at or near a point-a-game pace. Has-been versions of Markus Naslund(notes), Pavol Demitra(notes) andAnson Carter(notes). Or Jason King(notes).
So now they have a competent linemate in Alex Burrows(notes), and look at the production from all three. They've scored 178 combined points in 144 man-games, and that's obviously with Daniel missing 18 games (a streak during which Henrik still scored 18 points). The twins are second and third in the league in points per game behind only Alex Ovechkin(notes), not that you've heard a word about it from Versus or NBC.
Perhaps the reason no one realizes how good the Sedins are: They rarely score flashy, or "Ovechkin-y," goals. Most of their goals look like this. Their ability to cycle is unrivaled by any on the planet and their preternatural knowledge of where the other was, is and will be borders on psychic.
I watched a Canucks game last week in which the Canucks struggled against the lowly Oilers. No one had a good night. Except the Sedin-run power play, which combined for all three Vancouver goals behind three assists from Henrik, the overtime game-winner and two assists from Daniel, a goal and an assist from Sami Salo(notes),and a goal from Burrows. That's when I decided to write this column.
This weekend, I was a little nervous watching the Canucks' game with Toronto. The Leafs, inexplicably led 3-0 and chasedRoberto Luongo(notes), and the Sedin-Sedin-Burrows line hadn't done much. I couldn't in good conscience write a paean to the Sedins with no points between them in their most recent game, especially if it was against the Maple Leafs.
But they came alive in the third period as they are wont to do, scoring three rather Sedinish goals and finishing with three goals and two assists between them (Burrows, meanwhile, had 2-2-4 in the game) and simply took over the game like it was no big deal.
The way Alex Ovechkin is rampaging up the leaderboards in both goals and total points, it's likely that Henrik will be forced to relinquish his death-grip on the Art Ross frontrunner's spot pretty soon; but if this little run at the top makes even a few more people say, "Wow, the Sedins really are awesome," then that's okay with me. It might force the NHL to acknowledge the existence of the Western Conference beyond Detroit."
Edited by TicklingTwine, 01 February 2010 - 02:09 PM.