Canucks fans have long indicated that, in lieu of a winning team, they’ll take a team that loses excitingly, which is likely why no one was too torn up over the Canucks’ 6-2 loss to the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday night. Granted, a win would have been vastly preferable, but the game was full if wizardous Sedinery, which is another kind of win in its own right.
The twins’ finest moment was undoubtedly their second goal, a piece of twinning so mind-bending it briefly brought us back to 2010-11, when they were doing stuff like this on what seemed like a nightly basis. Sure, two minutes later, the Sharks would restore their two-goal lead and all but end the game, but nobody much minded. We were still basking in the glow of this high-level Sedin magic.
Let us continue to bask as we break it down.
As we noted just the other day with our keen observations skills, Chris Higgins has been doing some under-the-radar playmaking this season, and that holds true in this sequence. Who’s talking about his bank pass to himself that kicks off this sequence?
The Sharks have the Canucks well-defended at this point. They’re playing a very well-structured zone, with four players creating a box on the outside and Couture pressuring Higgins inside if he even dares turn towards the net. There’s no shot, and there’s no danger.
Plus, it’s clear what’s about to happen. With Henrik and Higgins heading towards the same spot, we’re about to witness a handoff. The Sharks have done this drill before.
Except no! Higgins puts the puck through Henrik Sedin’s skates and off the wall to himself. It buys him just enough time to retrieve the puck and turn down the wall. For what is he turning down, as Li’L Jon has been known to remark? Daniel Sedin, who’s now behind the goal.
What’s more: Daniel’s man is Brent Burns, who’s been on the ice for over a minute and is exhausted. In the above screengrab, you’ll note that he’s asleep on his feet. If you look closely, you can see tiny zeds floating up from his forehead.
Higgins moves the puck around to Daniel, then he goes to the net hard, using his super-muscular core to force Couture into the crease alongside him.
Meanwhile, Brent Burns remembers that he’s supposed to do something and goes around the side of the net after Daniel. The problem here is that Higgins has cleared out a lane on the other side, meaning Daniel can come out over there.
So he does.
Meanwhile, Henrik slides down into the slot, creating a problem for Mirco Mueller. If he commits to cutting off Daniel’s lane across the goalmouth, he’ll leave Henrik open for a one-timer. But if he heads towards Henrik’s lane, Daniel can come across. He tries to place himself somewhere that will allow him to complicate both plays.
But the Sedins have dolphin-talked to one another already, and come up with a super-cool third option.
As they converge, Daniel holds, then swivels, as though he’s going to try a hoper shot on Antti Niemi. No doubt the aim is a low shot that, if lucky, will rebound right to Henrik.
Instead of shooting, Daniel turns and threads a pass around both Mueller and Burns, and onto his brother’s stick. It fools everybody. Niemi, Mueller and Burns thought it was a shot. Only Henrik seemed to know there was a pass coming.
Mueller is in the process of figuring it out in the screenshot below, but it’s a split-second too late. The little black blur behind Henrik’s left calf? That’s the puck. This one’s over.
Henrik bobbles the puck, but with Niemi down and out, all he has to do is direct it towards the net. That he can do.
And that, friends, is how your Sedinery is made.