Coming into Wednesday’s quarterfinal against Slovenia, Daniel Sedin had gone 22 games without scoring a goal — 19 games for the Canucks and 3 for his home country. His last goal came on December 30th against the Philadelphia Flyers, meaning he had yet to score a goal in 2014, 50 days into the year.
It was getting to the point where we were wondering if he would ever score again. Every great scoring chance that skittered wide or was shot harmlessly into the goaltender’s logo or pads just further cemented the certainty that Daniel was never going to put the puck in the net ever again.
On Wednesday, however, Daniel’s long goalscoring slump finally ended, as he scored his first goal of the Olympics and first goal of 2014 in the third period.
Daniel’s line with Loui Eriksson and Nicklas Backstrom had arguably been Sweden’s best line in the tournament, despite not scoring a single goal. They definitely were the best line against Slovenia, creating multiple scoring chance and hemming Slovenia in their own zone for long stretches.
Prior to his goal, Daniel had already flubbed a fantastic scoring chance, sending a weak one-timer into Robert Kristan’s pads, but he made no mistake when set up by Eriksson at the left hashmarks.
Daniel cycles the puck down low for Eriksson behind the net, who makes a nice pivot around Marcel Rodman. Meanwhile, Daniel finds a soft spot in Slovenia’s defensive zone coverage and Eriksson finds him. Kristan has no chance of stopping Daniel, who snaps the puck into the back of the net with the kind of authority we haven’t seen in some time.
Will this have a positive effect on Daniel’s confidence, leading to a flurry of goals after the Olympic break? It’s certainly possible, particularly with Henrik Sedin using the Olympic break to convalesce from his rib injury. The Canucks could really use a healthy Henrik and a confident Daniel if they want to make the playoffs.
So commemorate this day, Canucks fans. On February 19th, 2014, Daniel Sedin scored a goal. It sounds too unbelievable to be true, but it is.Canucks, Daniel Sedin, Olympics, Pass it to Zamuner, Sweden