Normally, we try to break down goals one or two days after they happen, while they’re still fresh in everybody’s minds and all that. We try to stay current here at PITB. (Unrelated: did you know the Devils’ goalie is the same Cory Schneider that used to play here?)
Unfortunately, we were unable to get to the remarkable bit of Sedinery with which Daniel and Henrik flummoxed the Oilers and wowed the hometown fans last Saturday night. And now it’s Thursday. But as far as we’re concerned, it’s not too late. This play was so positively wizardous that I doubt anyone will mind if we revisit it:
The simple breakdown goes like this: the Sedins are amazing.
Of course, there’s a little more to it than that, especially since one could argue that the prettiest pass in this play doesn’t even come from the stick of a Sedin. Granted, one would be wrong — Henrik’s pass is so incredible it’s stupid — but it’s not an indefensible stance to take. I’ll explain.
This play begins in the corner, when Jeff Petry attempts to separate Daniel Sedin from the puck with a check. It doesn’t work, and Daniel moves the puck to his brother. Then, somehow, he’s the first one out of the corner. Petry’s not in the frame yet. All the other principle players are accounted for.
Right now, things are relatively fine for the Oilers, especially if Daniel heads to his usual spot behind the net. If he does that, Petry will have plenty of time to get back into position.
Unfortunately, as mentioned, Daniel is coming out of the corner, having spotted a weakness in the Oilers’ penalty-kill structure. He opts to sprint into the open box like an inquisitive cat.
Henrik does two really good things here: first, he draws Acton way down the wall. Second, he hits Daniel with the pass. Suddenly, both Acton and Petry are out of position and scrambling.
Still, on its own, giving Daniel the puck in this spot isn’t a terrible situation for the Oilers. He’s facing the wrong way, after all. Furthermore, he’s headed the wrong way. He could stop, turn and fire, but the resulting shot isn’t likely to be all that powerful or accurate.
Problem is, Daniel’s moving pretty quickly, and everyone else is standing still. So he skates to the top of the box, , completely unassailed, into the area I’ve shaded pink. That area is the passing lane from him to Alex Edler. You’ll notice it’s pretty much the entire top half of the offensive zone.
The Sedins never met a passing lane they didn’t like. One assumes on long road trips, they spend their entire time in the passing lane — probably going to the speed limit too. And so Daniel seizes the opportunity here, making the very easy pass to Edler. (The passes get progressively more difficult from here on out.)
Now the Oilers are in trouble. Alex Edler, a very good shooter, has the puck. Plus he’s got a shooting lane with no one in it, as the entire Oilers’ penalty-kill box is too far to the right, and plenty of room to move in before he unloads.
Two Oilers make desperate attempts to block this shot: Boyd Gordon, diving at Edler just outside the circle in the image below, and Ladislav Smid, the closest guy to Edler’s lane. But Edler sees something no one, not even the cameraman, does: Henrik Sedin, who’s wryly come off the wall and parked at the side of the goal with no one the wiser.
Look at that passing lane. It’s impossible to miss now that I’ve made a big red line of it, but it takes some incredible vision to see it otherwise. Edler has that vision. With Gordon, Smid and Devan Dubnyk all going down in expectation of the shot and Petry watching the shooter, a tape-to-tape pass to Henrik and he’ll have a tap-in at the side of the goal.
Unfortunately, the puck is a little behind Henrik, and rather than being able to step into a one-timer, he has to lean back to corral the pass. The tap-in is out.
But the Sedins are on it. Henrik may be in poor position to shoot the puck, but he’s in great position to pass it to Daniel, provided Daniel can get into the slot. Will Acton is the lone Oiler to clue in. He gets his stick in the passing lane. Crisis averted.
Or not. Devan Dubnyk bit Edler’s fake hard, and when Henrik suddenly turns back the other way instead, it becomes apparent to everybody that the Canucks’ captain has an entire net to shoot at if he feels like going backhand. Dubnyk makes a half-hearted stab, from his backside, to get some part of his body in the way of the shot.
And that’s when the Sedins get magic. Rather than attempting a backhander into what will no doubt be a wide open net, Henrik Sedin somehow decides he’s going to do a full rotation and throw a no-look back-pass to to his brother through a new passing lane he will create by lifting his leg off the ice. And Daniel somehow knows he’s going to do this.
Wizardous Sedinery ensues.
The best way to appreciate how thoroughly Henrik’s incredible pass discombobulates the Oilers is from the reverse angle on the replay, so we’ll stop it there.
You’ll notice two things. First of all, Devan Dubnyk is so out of this play that you can’t even find him. Second, Ladislav Smid is so fooled by Henrik’s pass that he reached for Ryan Kesler in an attempt to stop him from receiving it.
The result: Daniel has the whole net to shoot at, and he takes advantage, scoring the goal as Jason Garrison looks on in approval.Tags: Breakdowning