Though Henrik Sedin had a slight statistical regression from his Hart and Art Ross trophy winning season in 2010-11, registering 94 points a year after a career-high 112, you’d be hard-pressed to say last season was a step backwards for the elder twin. On opening night of the regular season, Henrik was named the captain of the Vancouver Canucks, a position Roberto Luongo had relinquished during the offseason. Anointed as the head of a revamped leadership corps, Henrik had a pretty good first year with the new patch, leading the Canucks to within one win of the Stanley Cup.
With his brother healthy for the entire season, Henrik also returned to his primary role as Daniel’s setup man (and, seeing as his brother won the Art Ross and the Lindsay, he was clearly a pretty effective setup man). Henrik scored 10 fewer goals than the season prior, finishing one goal short of his third 20-goal season. That said, 19 goals are nothing to sneeze at, especially when they come paired with a league-leading 75 assists and 94 points total. Trust me: while Henrik isn’t an elite goalscorer, per se, Henrik Sedin is an elite playmaker and that, more than anything else, is evident during this compilation of every goal he scored in 2010-11. I assure you, it’s the best one yet.
Did you remember that Henrik Sedin’s first goal of the season was scored on a penalty shot? Me neither. After a bouncing puck hops over Colin White’s stick, springing Henrik Sedin, White chops Henrik down to prevent the breakaway chance. Of course, when you do that, the guy you just took down is given a better one. Sucks to be White. (Please don’t read this any other way.) One-on-one with Marty Brodeur, Henrik makes no mistake, freezing the Devils’ netminder with a backhand deke before sliding the puck underneath his left pad. It’s a skilful move, although Henrik gets a little lucky, too: first, because Marty Brodeur didn’t play the penalty shot all that well, and second, because Daniel wasn’t allowed to take it.
Henrik’s second of the season comes on a powerplay. After the Canucks showcase some nice puck movement, Henrik crosses the zone and sets up at the left side of the net. Christian Ehrhoff’s slapshot goes wide off the end boards and caroms to him there, perhaps intentionally — you might recall the Canucks using this play a few times versus Boston — and Henrik chops it towards the goalmouth. It goes off the side of the net, off Chris Stewart’s stick, off Peter Budaj, and into the back of the net.
Henrik’s third goal is the insurance marker in their December 3rd shutout of the Chicago Blackhawks. It comes as a result of some great work from Christian Ehrhoff and Alex Burrows, who move the puck down the ice in a hurry. Ehrhoff shovels it to the side boards as he’s being taken down. There, Alex Burrows snatches it out of the air and drops it to his stick (as he often does), and executes a Sedin set play: the lob pass through the neutral zone to spring the twins on an odd-man rush. This time, however, Daniel gets in behind Brent Seabrook on a breakaway, and after Corey Crawford makes the initial stop, Henrik Sedin follows up to bang home the rebound.
This is one of the prettiest goals of the year, a classic Daniel and Henrik give-and-go that results in a beautiful short-side snipe on the powerplay. Let’s break it down: Daniel enters the zone, makes a two-foot pass to his brother, who then makes a backpass back to Daniel and plays possum along the boards. Then, Daniel puts it into the corner, where Kesler, rather than touching it, simply prevents Victor Hedman from doing the same by lifting his stick. This allows Daniel to retrieve his own pass behind the net, and the moment he reaches it, Henrik sprints to the goal, where Daniel finds him. Then, Henrik puts the puck from his backhand to his forehand to the top corner in a split second. If you’re keeping score, that’s Daniel to Henrik to Daniel to Daniel to Henrik. Absolutely perfect. Make sure you watch the behind-the-net replay to get the full effect.
Here’s another pretty one, scored just as a powerplay is expiring. After Ryan Kesler takes the puck into the center of the zone, drawing Tom Gilbert away from his down-low post, he makes a pretty pass to Daniel Sedin. At this point, Daniel and Henrik are camped out at either post with only Theo Peckham between them. In short, the Oilers are screwed. Daniel makes a beautiful drag to evade Peckham’s pokecheck, then throws it across the crease to his brother for the tap-in.
If this goal looks familiar, it’s because it’s a set play the Canucks also used to seal a postseason game versus Nashville. Apart from the one personnel difference (Malhotra was out, so Kesler took his place), it’s nearly identical. Here’s how it works: on the left side of the defensive zone, the center wins the puck back and blows the zone. If he wins it to the end boards, the right defenseman throws it around to wall. If he wins it to the side boards, the left winger does, then he blows the zone, too. Meanwhile, as soon as the puck is dropped, the right winger — Alex Burrows — sprints to the wall, where the puck should be coming around and, provided he gets to it first, chops it out to the neutral zone, where both the centerman and the left winger should now be. If either one of them picks up the puck, it’s an odd-man rush towards an empty-net.
The Sedins and Kesler combine for another nifty powerplay goal from another set play. This play doesn’t always work, especially because, in that close, the puck can be poked away by the goalie or either of the down-low penalty killers, but it works here, and it looks pretty. Daniel feeds the puck down the short side to Kesler, who takes it on his backhand and swivels to throw it across the crease to Henrik. This is an example of why putting Ryan Kesler on the top powerplay unit was the right idea. Can you imagine Steve Bernier making that pass?
Here’s another piece of Wizardous Sedinerie, this time versus the Columbus Blue Jackets. After winning a series of puck battles along the boards, Daniel draws two Columbus defenders away from the goalmouth, then makes a perfect backpass through a three-inch seam to a wide open Henrik in front. Extra credit goes to Dan Hamhuis, whose heady pinch to pokecheck this puck back into the zone keeps this play alive.
In case it wasn’t clear that the Sedins are ridiculously good, here’s another of my favourite goals from last season, this time on a powerplay versus Dallas. This play truly begins with Henrik Sedin’s insane saucer pass. Not only is it five feet in the air, it’s perfectly tape-to-tape. Seriously. Watch it float over two Dallas sticks, only to land right on Daniel Sedin’s stick. From there, Daniel makes a backpass to Edler, who makes a slap-pass back to Henrik, who one-times it into the open net. Had DJ Dave spun the theme from Vertigo, it would have been wholly appropriate.
Seriously, holy Hell. Are all these goals going to be pretty? Henrik and Daniel combine for a masterpiece of timing and inches here. Daniel comes streaking into the zone, only to make a surprise cut directly across the blue line. His sudden right angle draws Marc-Edouard Vlasic to the right, leaving Henrik a clear path to the net when he picks up Daniel’s initial line. The only issue now is Vlasic’s stick taking away the pass, however, it’s no problem for the Sedins, whose saucer passes, as we’ve already established, are tape-to-tape. Then, once Henrik receives the puck, he makes a shootout-calibre deke to beat Antti Niemi.
Henrik Sedin’s 11th goal of the season is the 5-1 goal in a routine rout of the Dallas Stars. The only thing that makes this one a little different is the setup man: that’s not Daniel, it’s Aaron Volpatti, who makes a great pass across the crease to give Henrik the tap-in goal. I especially like Volpatti’s “accidental” trip over Kari Lehtonen and Steve Ott once the goal is scored. Yeah, that was on purpose.
Here’s another gorgeous bit of powerplay passing, as the Sedins move the puck around on the Blackhawks like the coastal wizards they are. Henrik’s pass through to Daniel is incredible, and Daniel’s pass to Samuelsson is pretty much on par with it. But it’s Samuelsson’s return pass to Henrik that really seals the deal here. It’s an almost identical pass to the one Alex Edler made on Henrik’s ninth goal. Seriously, in retrospect, Samuelsson didn’t get nearly enough credit for the way he filled in for Alex Edler.
Henrik Sedin may be the league’s best passer, which is likely why the sight of him camped out behind the St. Louis net causes the Blues defenders to freeze up in this clip. Henrik holds the puck back there for a full eight seconds before deciding what to do with it, coming out to set up Salo for a one-timer. Salo’s shot is blocked, but it caroms off BJ Crombeen’s foot right back to Henrik, whose second attempt is much less blocked.
Enough with the flukes, though. Here’s another pretty one. Back in April, we named this the best bit of Sedinery of 2010-11, and this is what we said about it then: Yann Sauve probably felt pretty good about his chances for getting his first NHL assist, especially after springing the Sedins and Alex Burrows, 3-on-1. Then, the line proceeded to pass the puck about sixteen times, erasing his name from the scoresheet. The best reaction here belongs to Stephane Robidas, who is understandably frustrated that the final pass somehow goes directly through his body. It must suck when your molecules come apart like that.
Henrik’s 15th of the season is another powerplay tally, this time on an impressive snapshot from the circle. Henrik’s no sniper (in a hockey sense), but his shot is deadly accurate (like a sniper’s). When he gets this kind of time and space, he’s going to do something with it. Ryan Kesler also deserves a ton of credit on this one. He does a great job to win the puck in the corner before making a Sedin-like saucer pass to Mikael Samuelsson for the initial shot. Then, he cuts to the net, screening Carey Price for the remainder of the play.
More of Henrik on the powerplay. For this goal, the Canucks’ captain follows a Christian Ehrhoff shot to the net. Ilya Bryzgalov stops it, but when Adrian Aucoin attempts to clear the rebound, Henrik surprises him by being there, and the puck goes off his legs and in.
So many pretty goals today! After Christian Ehrhoff chips a puck back into the offensive zone, the first line goes to work. Alex Burrows knocks the puck away from Matt Hunwick right to Daniel Sedin, who looks off a perfectly good scoring chance of his own (Third Law of Sedinery) to leave a drop pass for his brother. Seriously, who thinks to do that?
Henrik Sedin’s second of the night is an empty-netter to seal the game versus the Avalanche. After the high quality of the previous 17 goals, this one bores me. Let’s move on.
Henrik’s 19th goal comes on a brutal defensive breakdown by the Columbus penalty kill. After the Canucks win the draw to the corner, Fedor Tyutin vacates his post in front to chase Ryan Kesler to the corner. When none of the four Columbus players stays by to the net, Henrik Sedin, recognizing this, does. It’s a matter of seconds before Daniel finds him there. All alone in front, Henrik outwaits Mathieu Garon before shovelling a backhand over his shoulder.
Previous entries in the Every Goal series:Every Goal 10-11, featured, Henrik, Wizardous Sedinerie, wizards of the coast