Henrik for the Hart

The Vancouver Canucks are on the verge of putting the exclamation point on their season as they look to lock up first place in the Northwest division, and have been led their by Henrik Sedin. The Canucks are in control of their own destiny as they sit five points up on the Avalanche (as of Friday, March 26) having gone 6-2-2 in their last ten games.

One of the keys to the Canucks success has been their home record of 27-8-2 which has them tied with Chicago and Washington for most home wins, putting the Canucks in the realm of the top teams in the NHL.

Vancouver bounced back from a rough road loss Tuesday night in Edmonton with a decisive 4-1 win; Wednesday night against the Ducks effectively put a nail in Anaheim’s playoff coffin. Leading the way to the Canucks victory were as usual, the Sedin twins, who led the games scoring with three points each.

Alex Burrows 33rd goal of the season put Vancouver up 3-0 midway through the second with the assists going to Daniel and Henrik Sedin, giving them each 3 points on the night.  Burrows goal was set up beautifully by Henrik, and was a direct result of Daniel’s hard fore-checking. Henrik’s third point of the night gave him an NHL leading 99 points and 71 assists, one point ahead of Washington’s Alexander Ovechkin.

Nobody would have thought at the beginning of the season that Henrik would be in the NHL scoring title race, let alone finish in the top ten. Henrik’s profound increase in production is even more dramatic considering he has played 18 games without his line mate, and brother, Daniel who suffered a broken left foot early in October.

When Henrik breaks the hundred-point mark on the season he will be only the fourth Canuck to do so in its franchise history, joining the ranks of Pavel Bure (92-93 & 93-94), Alex Mogilny (95-96) and Markus Naslund (02-03).

With Henrik being in contention for the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL’s leading point getter, he should also be a favorite to be a finalist for the Hart trophy as league MVP. Although most will say that the Hart trophy is a two-way race between Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin, the mention of Henrik’s name as a solid contender must also be included as he is not only the MVP of the Canucks, due to captain Roberto Luongo’s lackluster performance, but also the entire NHL.

When considering Henrik for the Hart, it should be noted that Washington’s Nicklas Backstrom is sitting tied for third place in the scoring race with Crosby, both having 89 points, which should be a huge vote against Alex the Great. It also should be noted that in the ten games that Ovechkin has missed this year, due to injury and suspension, the Capitals have not missed a beat. In many people’s eyes those reasons should cancel Ovechkin out as the league MVP.

It also hurts Crosby that he is on a loaded team with superstars in their own right, such as Evgeni Malkin and Marc-Andre Fleury. As the defending Stanley Cup Champions, the Penguins are a team full of players who are continuing to live up to their potential. In Henrik’s case, he is leading his team in a quest to meet their full potential, which should see the Canucks go deep into the playoffs.

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