I have to be exceptionally careful while writing Daniel Sedin’s Every Goal for 2010-11. So many of his goals came off remarkable passing plays that I start to become desensitized to the Wizardous Sedinerie on display. I see yet another cross-ice, three-foot-high saucer pass over the sticks of two defenders and I scoff: Pfft, he was totally looking at his brother when he made that pass. Wake me up when he does that blindfolded while freeing himself from a straitjacket. Sometimes I have to slow down and take the time to appreciate each moment of wizardry. I encourage you to do the same: parcel out your viewing throughout the day. Watch each goal a few times, perhaps more if it’s a particularly pretty one. Also, tell someone you care about how much you love them. Never a bad time for that.
It’s time for another good idea, bad idea. Good idea: making an outlet pass to Joe Thornton. Bad idea: making a terrible outlet pass to Joe Thornton up the middle of the ice with Alex Burrows bearing down on him and the Sedins behind the defense. Jason Demers starts the turnover with a hard to handle pass, then has Burrows’ pass to Daniel deflect off his stick directly to Henrik. Antti Niemi has no chance, as he completely overplays Henrik leaving yet another wide open net for Daniel.
The Flames actually do a fantastic job defending Burrows and the Sedins on a promising rush, forcing Burrows wide of the goal and taking away his potential pass to Daniel. He shows his Sedinesque instincts by keeping possession instead of throwing the puck away, then hitting Bieksa with a perfectly weighted saucer pass. While Bieksa doesn’t have the best slapshot, his wristshot is accurate and effective. Here, he doesn’t have a shooting lane so shoots intentionally wide, hoping for the tip in front. Daniel obliges.
This example of wizardry starts with an unexpected and clever move from Kevin Bieksa. As the puck is cleared out of the offensive zone, Bieksa doesn’t backpedal like might be expected, but steps up, bounces off a check, and passes to Daniel, immediately putting the pressure back on the Oilers’ defense. Daniel’s cross-ice pass to Henrik opens up the middle of the ice, Burrows goes hard to the net to open up the passing lane back to Daniel, and Daniel finishes off Henrik’s subsequent feed. The rookie Jeff Petry completely mis-reads the play and leaves Daniel wide open. He shouldn’t do that.
You can tell this is a beautiful goal just by listening to it. You can hear John Garrett moan in delight in the background of Shorty’s call. This goal is just stunning. Burrows starts the rush with the patented aerial pass the top line used all season. Daniel catches the puck, then breaks in 2-on-1 with Henrik. At that point a goal is a foregone conclusion, as Theo Peckham desperately sprawls to take away the pass, but Henrik nonchalantly flips a saucer-pass over him. Daniel dekes Khabibulin out of his skates and tucks the puck past his outstretched glove. Gorgeous.
I am constantly baffled by the array of powerplay formations used by the top unit this season. After some interplay in the corner, Daniel skates around the Red Wings’ box for the cross-ice saucer-pass from Henrik. While this pass is well defended, the powerplay then sets up with Edler at the point flanked by the Sedins with Kesler and Ehrhoff taking turns screening Jimmy Howard. At the top of the circle, Henrik spots a shooting lane and fires a low slapshot, that Howard can’t control, kicking the rebound to a waiting Daniel, who corrals it and fires it just inside the post. Seeing this type of formation, I’m not sure if the Canucks will miss Ehrhoff all that much on the powerplay. I have a feeling the Sedins and Newell Brown will come up with plenty of bizarre arrangements to make up for his loss.
You have to forgive David Steckel for trying to deke around a Jannik Hansen pokecheck. He’s played his entire career in the Eastern Conference and doesn’t known any better. Meanwhile, Tanner Glass goes for a change at exactly the right moment, stepping off the ice just before his replacement, Daniel, takes the puck in on a breakaway. So really, all the credit for this goal should go to Glass.
The previous goal was the gamewinner, but Daniel also notched the insurance goal with this empty netter. As Bieksa throws the puck up the boards to Burrows, Daniel identifies the opportunity and jumps into the neutral zone. Burrows chips the puck past the pinching defenseman, Daniel chases down the puck to prevent the icing call and scores on the empty net. Easy peasy Japanesey. Wait! Is that racist?
Back in February, I used this goal to prove that Daniel Sedin is, at minimum, a 3rd-level Wizard in one of the nerdiest I Watched This Game features of all time. The gamewinner in the second best game of the season, this goal is remarkable for more than just the levitation that guides the puck under Turco’s flailing blocker. Watch Burrows burn over the blue line then take two defenders with him enroute to the front of the net. Watch the Sedins as they criss-cross to confuse their defenders. Watch them use the slap-pass to the slot that they’ve used on other goals without the slap. But mostly watch the look of complete befuddlement on Marty Turco’s face. Maybe he should wear larger knee flaps.
The Canucks missed having a healthy Mikael Samuelsson in the playoffs and here’s a great example why: he’s versatile. Yes, he’s a capable top-six winger who can skate with the Sedins or Kesler. Yes, he’s a responsible two-way player who can slot into the third line. But he can also capably man the point on the powerplay and make plays. Daniel has an absurd amount of time to tee up his shot after Samuelsson makes a pretty backhand pass to him, though part of the reason he has that much time is the subtle play by Henrik in the middle of the ice, “accidentally” tripping Todd Marchant with his skate. With that much time Daniel’s not going to miss, blasting the puck off the post and in.
Goals were hard to come by in Nashville all year and this game was no exception, as Daniel notched the only Canucks goal of the game. On the powerplay, Henrik finds Daniel with one of those unexpected little backhand passes that they do so well. Daniel immediately snaps the puck just over Pekka Rinne’s right pad, off the post, and in the net. But the highlight of this goal is not the goal itself. It’s the gangsta stylings of John Garrett laying down a sick freestyle after Shorty finishes his call: “Now did that sh*t hit Shane O’Brien’s stick?” Priceless.
Tags: Daniel Sedin, Every Goal 10-11, featured, Wizardous Sedinerie, wizards of the coast