Sedins on pace for busiest season of their careers under John Tortorella

According to the Getty Images caption on the above photo (snapped by the great Jeff Vinnick, as most of our favourites are), this is a picture of David Perron “containing” the Sedins. Good call, Perron. Dragging the both of them to the ground and then holding them there is about as good a defensive strategy as any. The Sedins are fabulous and dangerous hockey players. Want to win? Pin them to the ice.

This is a lesson John Tortorella was quick to learn when he took over the Canucks, in a sense. Like Perron, he’s been pinning the Sedins to the ice in the early-going, (albeit not on their backs, where they’re less effective — he prefers the Sedins standing up).

Tortorella is using the Sedins more than they’ve ever been used in their whole careers.

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The Pros and Cons of splitting the Sedins

During Tuesday night’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers, the Canucks were in a bind partway through the third period. Down by one, the Canucks just weren’t able to generate enough chances as the Flyers collapsed into a defensive shell to protect their lead. In an attempt to spark the offence, John Tortorella split the Sedins, moving Ryan Kesler to the wing with Henrik and Chris Higgins and putting Daniel with Mike Santorelli and Jannik Hansen.

The split worked, as Kesler and Higgins helped create room for Henrik with a physical forecheck, resulting in goals for both Higgins and Kesler and a win for the Canucks. It was the second time already in this short season that splitting the Sedins has resulted in a third period comeback, as it also worked against the Calgary Flames.

This has sparked the seemingly annual debate over whether the Canucks should split up the Sedins on a more semi-permanent basis. After all, splitting them so far this season has resulted in two goals per period, so, logically, starting the game with them split should result in 6 goals per game. Not even the 1984 Edmonton Oilers managed that, averaging a measly 5.6 goals per game. That’s right: splitting the Sedins would make the Canucks better than the Oilers dynasty from the 80′s. Tortorella would be a fool not to do it!

Of course, it’s not that simple. We’re pretty big fans of the Sedins being together around these parts, but there are some legitimate arguments for splitting them — well, more legitimate than they’ll score all the goals, at least. Let’s break down the pros and cons in a feature we like to call “Pros and Cons.”

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I Watched This Game: Canucks at Philadelphia Flyers, October 15, 2013

The Canucks have come from behind in every single one of their victories this season, which is simultaneously encouraging and frightening. After all, it’s great to see that the Canucks aren’t down and out whenever they go down by a goal or two, but it’s disconcerting to see them down by a goal or two so often.

This game was true to form, as the Canucks only had the lead for two-and-a-half minutes. Fortunately, those two-and-a-half minutes were at the end of the game, which are the most important two-and-a-half minutes. I watched those minutes, along with all the other ones, when I watched this game.

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