The Sedins have some very creative ways to enter the offensive zone, which is one of the big reasons they’re so difficult to stop. Once the Sedins are in the offensive zone, wizardry occurs, so one of the few ways to prevent them from scoring is to prevent them from gaining the zone in the first place. This is why they continually invent new ways to keep their opponents guessing.
On Wednesday against the Red Wings, however, Daniel Sedin improvised a brand new way to get over the blueline. At least, I’m assuming he’s improvising: otherwise, this is the greatest set play in the history of the Sedins.
Yes, Daniel just directed the puck into the Red Wings’ zone with his head. On purpose. It looks like their pre-game soccer routine is paying off. Either that or he was inspired by Mason Raymond taking a puck to the face in their previous game against the Wild.
Alex Burrows clears the defensive zone with a play that we saw a lot last year: the high flip out to centre ice. Daniel anticipates the play and is ready for the puck. The only issue is that Pavel Datsyuk is a clever, clever guy and he also anticipates the play. You can see him lurking, just waiting for the puck to drop or for Daniel to catch it and bring it down to his stick so he can snatch it away; Datsyuk is second in the NHL in takeaways, which I assume is a category he tracks daily and is very upset not to be leading.
What Datsyuk doesn’t know is that Daniel is crazy. In an age where concussions are a major concern and after Manny Malhotra suffered a devastating injury taking a puck to the face, Daniel intentionally hits the puck with his head.
Not even Henrik anticipates this course of action: you can tell it’s not a set play because Henrik doesn’t go down the boards to where Daniel directs the puck. Instead, he’s crossing over to Daniel’s left and appears to be just as shocked at what happened as everyone else.
There are three possible reasons that Daniel did this.
1. As mentioned, to prevent Datsyuk from being able to make a defensive play. You’ll notice that the Sedins do gain possession of the puck in the offensive zone, making this a completely viable way to gain the blueline.
2. To show up Henrik, who had the oddball highlight of the game against the Toronto Maple Leafs when he casually caught Sami Salo’s flying stick like it weren’t no thang. We know how competitive the twins are with each other: clearly Daniel was out for blood to out-do Henrik’s craziness.
3. To ward off predators. If Daniel can convince the rest of the NHL that he’s crazy, he’s less likely to take gloved punches to the face. If he will headbutt a puck, who knows when he might headbutt your face? He’s unpredictable like that.Tags: Daniel, Daniel Sedin, Daniel Sedin is crazy, headbutt, I Find This Video Odd, out for blood