The Canucks have been wildly inconsistent all year, but if there’s been one thing that Vancouver hockey fans have been able to expect from this team night in and night out, it’s the sight of Daniel and Henrik Sedin playing on the same line. But now it would appear that this too is in jeopardy.
The Swedish twins have been playing together despite a lengthy quarrel all season long, but over the weekend, both decided enough was enough, independently approaching coach Alain Vigneault and demanding to be split up.
According to a report from the Vancouver Sun’s Elliott Pap, Henrik Sedin was the first to demand a new linemate, citing stale play as the primary reason for the split. “I think both of us would benefit from new linemates, new challenges,” Henrik said. “We’ve become predictable to defenders and to one another. This team needs more offence from us and we can no longer provide it together.”
The Sedins’ unhappiness playing together was evident during Saturday night’s blowout at the hands of the Oilers, when the line struggled to generate much of anything despite trailing Edmonton by four. Henrik and Daniel looked uninspired and out of synch at even-strength and on the powerplay, where they’ve struggled all season, largely due to their personal issues with one another. The loss of chemistry was apparently the final straw for the brothers, who have been working through a strained relationship ever since the lockout ended and the players won the right to individual hotel rooms for veteran players. Suddenly, after decades of rooming together on the road, the Sedins were given their own rooms, and the change in environment appears to have brought a lot of suppressed frustration to the surface.
“It’s nice that you can be on your own schedule and sleep whenever you want and not get disturbed by a guy who wants to watch TV or stuff like that,” Daniel told Brad Ziemer back in February, before diplomatically adding, “We might go back next year.”
But as it turns out, that was never a serious consideration. Daniel claims he was trying to spare his brother’s feelings and that, while he may be the youngest, Henrik’s the baby, but he’s tired of coddling the eldest Sedin. Daniel explained that this year has helped him to realize how much he doesn’t really want his brother around, and how the new road arrangements have helped him to get away from Henrik’s infuriating penchant for watching late-night infomercials and loudly responding to the questions of the narrator. From the Sun:
“I hate being woken up to the sound of my goofy older brother shouting, ‘That does always happen to me!’” Daniel mumbled. “I hate it, just like I hate when he reads comics by flashlight.”
Daniel clarified that it was really the way Henrik plays hockey that upsets him the most.
“He sucks, mainly,” Daniel said. “Have you noticed he never shoots? What’s up with that? A few games ago, he left me with a wide-open net after a pass. I passed it right back to him. Then, when we were back at the bench, he says, ‘Why didn’t you shoot’? Like, why do I always have to shoot. Maybe he should shoot. Did he ever think of that?”
“It’s always the same thing with him. Skate laterally along the blue line, drop pass for me, then when I pass it back, the same no-look backhand saucer pass. I’ve asked Coach Vig to put me with Mason Raymond. You never know when that crazy kid’s gonna take a tumble. I want that kind of unpredictability in my life.”
Daniel also complained that he’s been asking Henrik to get a different beard style since 1999. In his most frustrated moment, he simply said, “I’m sick of his s***.”
Alain Vigneault was the first to admit it’s not an optimal situation, especially for a team in a playoff race. “I don’t know what I’m going to do,” he said. “Obviously, we need them playing together. Whenever I split them up, they hijack the room by demanding their teammates vote on which line is the first line and which line is the second. It’s very distracting.”
But this time, it’s the twins driving the decision, not Vigneault. Shortly after demanding the change, they broke the news to Alex Burrows, sitting the French-Canadian winger down and explaining that it wasn’t his fault, and that he’d be playing on a line with Daniel during the week but skating on Henrik’s wing on every second weekend and some holidays.
April Fool’s, obviously.Tags: April Fools, Questionable Comedic Content