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D. Sedin: "I know people say we're too old, we're done"

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Sedin refuses to blame age for slump




You can cut him some slack, but Daniel Sedin won’t take it. Keep your pity, too.

Sedin is 36 years of age and feels strong physically and mentally. So he doesn’t care how many points others think a player “at his age” should generate late in his National Hockey League career.

He won a scoring title a long time ago, back in 2011 when the Vancouver Canucks were the best team in hockey, but even in the last two seasons averaged 69 points.

So don’t talk to him about age and lowering expectations. Don’t suggest that 20 goals and 50 points would still be commendable achievements for Danny and his brother, Hank.

Daniel Sedin still figures he should make a difference, still wants to be on the scoresheet every game so he can help the Canucks win. Which tells you how desperate he must be to help these days because Sedin has only one goal — scored on a five-on-three power play on Jan. 12 — in his last 20 games and the Canucks are just trying to keep their season alive as they open a difficult six-game road trip Tuesday night in Nashville.

“I know people say we’re too old, we’re done,” Sedin said Monday before travelling to Tennessee. “But I don’t look at it that way. We’d like to be good each and every night, but this year that hasn’t been there. But we still feel like we can produce a lot more than we have.

“The past few years, we’ve been going pretty good — 60 to 70 points. But this … we want to help out the team. We help out the team by scoring goals and getting points. We have other lines that can score, so we don’t have to score each and every night. But we need to score more than we have.”

What Sedin meant by “this” was his current scoring rate. With 11 goals and 28 points through 52 games, he is on pace for 17 goals and 44 points, which would be his poorest season since 2003, when the Sedins were floundering third-year NHLers contemplating quitting North America and spending their careers back home in Sweden.

As has been written in this space before, the Sedins’ greatest fault is aging like the rest of us — and before the Canucks had adequately planned for a first-line succession.

Bo Horvat leads the team in scoring as a 21-year-old, and Sven Baertschi, 24, and Markus Granlund, 23, continue to show promise. Brandon Sutter, who turns 28 next week, could break his career highs of 21 goals and 40 points.

University of North Dakota winger Brock Boeser, who may be the best shooter in the organization, should be on the Canucks next season.

These players aren’t enough to achieve a championship, but are enough to remove much of the scoring burden from the Sedins.

This is the fourth straight season the Canucks’ share of even-strength shot attempts has declined when the Sedins are on the ice. Daniel’s shots-for percentage has dropped from a peak of 61 in 2012-13 to 48 this season. And the Sedins are minus-players for the first time since they were rookies.

But all of this is natural. Nobody’s best seasons are at the end of his career. It’s OK if the Sedins are second-line calibre players who may get you 50 points instead of 70 or 80.

“But it’s not OK for us,” Daniel said. “That’s the way I look at it. We’re playing in the NHL, we make a certain amount of money, we’re supposed to help this team out and make the playoffs. Honestly, I don’t care if I score 30 points or 50 points if we make the playoffs. But I know 30 points aren’t enough.”

The Canucks, swept by the superior San Jose Sharks and Minnesota Wild in a pair of home games last week, are 1-4 in their last five and have fallen five points adrift of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference after charging back into the fight by going 9-2-3 after Christmas.

It didn’t matter that the Sedins weren’t scoring when the Canucks were winning, but it sure matters now.

Daniel has six assists to go with his lone goal the last 20 games. Henrik has 12 points in that span. Their current linemate, Loui Eriksson, is having the worst season of the three and has contributed just two goals and an assist in the last 15 games.

Canuck coach Willie Desjardins continues to rely on them because “they’re ready every shift” and still capable of delivering goals at any moment.

In assessing his own team, Desjardins was heartened by quarterback Tom Brady and the New England Patriots’ 34-28 Super Bowl win Sunday over the Atlanta Falcons, who led by 25 points in the third quarter.

“The Falcons had the game, for sure,” Desjardins said. “But the thing you like is New England didn’t take themselves out of it. They stayed around long enough to finally win. And that’s a little bit how we play. We hang around and find ways to win games, and that’s how we have to go from here.”

But should the Sedins modify their expectations?

“I don’t think anybody modified their expectations of Brady,” Desjardins said. “He’s 39. Nobody was going in and saying, ‘Hey, he can’t do it.’ Those guys (the Sedins), I expect their best from here on in. I honestly expect that.”

So do they.

Can't expect the Sedin's to carry Sutter or Megna. They are still the best 5 on 5 producers with Eriksson and to a lesser extent Hansen on their line.


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I think this is exactly the right attitude for the players themselves to have. And I also think that from an outside point of view it is acceptable to have a different one. 


We SHOULD be lowering our expectations for them. It is entirely natural for them to gracefully move down the depth chart as they age, and the next generation comes in. We expected production to drop as they aged, and it has. 


But at the same time, I like that they are continuing to push themselves and strive for the best. It's what you want to see in players, and in leaders. The moment that they fully accept that they are second liners, they will probably slip to third liners. Keep on striving boys. 


It has been a privilege to have you in the organisation.  

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43 minutes ago, Rocksterh8 said:

Say what ever makes you feel good, you're play on the ice tell's the true picture.

Agree. I know they deserve some respect for all they have done but they just haven't bin good enough. Even for a second line. Have bin allowing some timely goals as well. But good guys none the less. 

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They are still a privilege to have in the organization and we should be thankful for having them for many years and helping the team win consecutive President's Cup trophies and within a win of winning the Stanley Cup. They have been nothing but good, humble hockey players and truly deserve their numbers to be retired and be in the ROH and possibly HOF also. 

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17 minutes ago, SergioMomesso said:

If you arent scoring? You need to prevent the other team from scoring. And Either are happening for the twins right now. 



Great guys for the team and city who'll have their numbers deservedly retired, but right now it looks like father time has finally caught up to them. I find it difficult to listen to them preach playing the right way, when the young kids are sitting on the bench watching them lazily back check, waiving their sticks at pucks and being regularly out of position in the defensive zone.


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They took discounts for years and years.


They don't necessarily owe this team 70pt seasons any longer, despite their cap hits.


It's time for some young, ELC/RFA guys to produce above their contracts.


The Sedins - like Burrows and a few other guys - have 'paid it forward' to the last year of their contract.

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they've lost a step no doubt,but they are still highly skilled world class players.i don't buy that,that they're not good enough to be 2nd line players,if the canucks can put together a good 1st line i think they'll bounce back nicely next season.days of carrying the team offensively are done now though. 

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4 hours ago, Rocksterh8 said:

Say what ever makes you feel good, you're play on the ice tell's the true picture.

man I am so sick of garbage fans like you. you are exactly the type that give this fan base a bad rep. players get old and their production declines, its not their fault this teams drafting was crap for years and no successors were found to replace them and now they are stuck in the position of having to fill a role they are no longer suited for. ideally they would be our second or third line right now but that's not the reality. I remember when trash like you gave the same treatment to Naslund when he was past his prime. So quick to turn on people who gave everything they had to this team and city but as soon as those numbers drop, out come the torches and pitchforks. &^@#ing disgusting.

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They're just about done as first liners, but not as effective hockey players. I don't know if Baertschi and Horvat are necessarily ready (and both are banged up right now) but its probably time to at least give them a few games to show what they can do in a first line, first PP role. If they flounder, it'll show they still need more seasoning; but regardless of when the coaching staff decides to make the shift, its going to happen eventually so you may as well start planning for it and testing things out while the Sedins are still here. In a couple of seasons, they won't be and the team will be forced to ice not only a new first line, but also a capable second line to fill the void left by the twins.


Best case scenario, Horvat's line thrives in the role and the Sedins get away from the top defensive match-ups every night. But it probably won't be tried any time soon since WD is understandably concerned about his job and short-term success and it isn't his role to think long-term about the franchise.

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1 hour ago, NUCKER67 said:

Two of the hardest working guys in hockey... except during line changes. They're still very valuable players to the Canucks. I expect they've still got 3-5 years left, and they'll retire as Canucks.


I would be insanely shocked and surprised if they play 3 more years let alone 5. 


Two years MAX imho. 

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I'm a bit confused with all the talk about Sedins being first line, Horvat and wingers being second line.  If I'm the opposing coach, I'm not worried about a number arbitrarily assigned to any line, I'm worried about the production from that line, and what line I have to match up best against them.  We're starting to see the Horvat PP line come out first on the PP, and quite often we see the Sutter line starting the game.  

I'm not sure WD is concerned about line numbers but rather situational play.  He indicated that as his explanation for not having Horvat out on the offensive faceoff near the end of the game in Boston.  Whether we agree with him or not is a different issue, and I'm not trying to launch that debate again in a different thread. 

I think we'll continue to see an evolution as the Horvat line gets more recognition around the league and they will start to attract the stronger checking from whomever the team is playing, and hopefully that might mean the Sedin's start getting lesser matchups.   Ergo the shift from line 1 to line 2 will happen whether they are formally identified that way or not.  

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