The annual Every Goal series will run Monday to Thursday through July and August, remembering every goal scored by the Canucks, player by player. Today, we look at Henrik “Thing 1″ Sedin.
The wonderful thing about looking at all the goals scored by a single player over the course of the season is that the tendencies that emerge will sometimes surprise you. Last year, I was surprised to see that Henrik’s goals were far more aesthetically pleasing than Daniel’s goals. While Daniel had the quantity, Henrik had the quality, which legitimately caught me off guard.
This last season, both the quality and the quantity dropped off for Henrik. He scored 14 goals during the 2011-12 campaign, his lowest total in five seasons, with many of them being ugly rebounds and deflections where he was just in the right spot at the right time. That’s not to say that there was no wizardry to any of his goals this season, just that there was often a gap in between the wizardry and the goal that was filled with ugly.
There’s definitely something to be said for ugly goals, of course, which is why I’m about to say something about the first 7 goals of Henrik Sedin’s 2011-12 season.
Here’s a perfect example of ugly. After a well-positioned forecheck from Henrik forces the puck to the boards, Edler deflects the puck into the slot, where it bounces like it just installed hydraulics and is showing off to some ladies at a red light. Eventually, one of those bounces ends up on the stick of Henrik, who does well to lift it up over Ilya “Humangus Beeg” Bryzgalov.
Henrik got a lucky bounce on his first goal of the season: he got 3 of them on his second. The path the puck takes to reach Henrik’s stick is unreal: Salo’s blast from the point on the 5-on-3 deflects off Ryan Jones’s stick, hits Devan Dubnyk’s shoulder, then Tom Gilbert’s collar bone, finally landing in the crease in front of Henrik, who nudges it just over the line with his second swipe at the puck.
Know what’s surprising? Seeing Henrik Sedin take a slap shot. Normally, when Henrik raises his stick above his waist, he is either hooking an opponent or delivering a slap-pass to his brother, Daniel. This past season, however, he began using his slap shot far more frequently, making him a bit less predictable with the puck.
Just prior to this goal, for instance, Henrik sent a slap-pass to Daniel at the side of the goal. As a result, when he actually took a shot on net, he had plenty of room as the Predators penalty kill is playing the pass. His shot takes a fortunate deflection off Kevin Klein’s stick and goes top corner.
The puck and player movement on the powerplay is beautiful on this goal, at least up until Kesler shovels Daniel’s pass on net, at which point the beauty turns into a beast as every single player on the ice seems to come crashing into the crease. Every player except Henrik, who waits patiently for the puck to squirt out of the scrum so he can tuck it in and read it a bedtime story.
This goal, however, is as pretty as can be. On the powerplay, Edler wires a pass to Henrik, who corrals it cleanly, then takes it forehand-backhand with such casual ease that he should be wearing a Hawaiian shirt while doing it. Corey Crawford can only flail helplessly in response.
This goal made Henrik really wish that Evgeni Nabokov was still playing for the Sharks. Henrik floats a wristshot from the point that a screened Nabokov just plain misses. John Garrett rubs salt in the wound, saying Nabokov has “one of the top-60 glove hands in the NHL,” which is some quality snark from one of the top-50 colour commentators in hockey.
Henrik’s dreaded slapshot makes its second appearance on this list, this time off the rush. Kesler and Daniel draw the Senators’ penalty killers to the left side, leaving Henrik with miles and miles of room. Alex Auld gets a piece of the puck, but it’s just not enough to brake the blistering briskness of Henrik’s blast.
Every Goal, every goal 2011-12, Henrik Sedin