The Sedin twins, Henrik and Daniel, are two of the best talents in the NHL. Daniel Sedin secured the Art Ross Trophy for most points in the regular season with 104, the only player to score more than 100 points this season in the NHL, and is also nominated for the Hart Trophy as the league’s most valuable player. Not to be outdone, brother Henrik posted 94 points this season, including a league-leading 75 assists. Needless to say, these are two dangerous players and together they form one of the most formidable lines in the NHL.
So where have they gone?
Both Henrik and Daniel started off the 2010-11 playoffs exactly where they left off in the regular season. Daniel began the playoffs by scoring three goals and adding two assists in his first three games of the playoffs against the Chicago Blackhawks while Henrik posted four points, all assists, in his first three games of this year’s postseason. Together the brothers were a plus-7 in those first three games.
The past six games have been a different story for the Sedin twins however. Together, they have only managed only three points in their last six playoff games, four games against the Blackhawks and two against the Nashville Predators, and have been a combined minus-13 throughout the past six games. For two players that were combining for an average of three points a game during the early stages of the playoffs, both Sedins have been notably absent from the score sheet throughout the Nashville series thus far and even in Game 7 of the first round against the Blackhawks where both brothers posted goose eggs in the box score.
This trend has got to be somewhat worrisome for the Canucks as their two best players are slumping at exactly the wrong time against a team whose goalie is incredibly hot and practically single-handedly stole Game 2 for the Predators. That’s not to say the Sedin twins aren’t trying, though. Daniel has rifled off an incredible 12 shots on goal in the first two games of the Conference Semi-Finals while Henrik has levied seven shots of his own against Pekka Rinne. Plus, the Twins have generated great scoring opportunities, only to be thwarted by Pekka Rinne’s stellar efforts. Check out the video below of Daniel Sedin’s cross-ice pass to a streaking Kevin Bieksa who was denied at the goalmouth by a diving Pekka Rinne.
Rinne is a big reason why Henrik and Daniel have gone scoreless thus far against the Nashville Predators, and Corey Crawford played an amazing game in Game 7 against Vancouver to account for the Twins going scoreless in their past three playoff games. But at this time of year, teams count on their best players to carry the load and perform at the highest level possible night in and night out. Those star players are the ones looked at to beat the hot goaltender and show everyone that he isn’t Superman. But so far, Rinne is getting the best of the Sedin twins and the Vancouver Canucks. The Canucks have good depth, which has helped them to this point while the Sedin twins are slumping, but they need to break out of their slump if they are to best a defensive-minded squad like the Predators. And when the Sedins break out of their slump, watch out. Rinne has looked nearly invincible so far in the playoffs, but he is also staring down the best offensive duo in the NHL. They are like a ticking time bomb, and when they explode, your team is all but doomed. While the Predators have played solid enough to split the first two games with Vancouver, they need to continue to keep the Sedins in check and hope that bomb doesn’t go off anytime soon.