It should come as no surprise that Daniel and Henrik Sedin led the Vancouver Canucks in points and assists and were second and third in goals last season. However, as they’ve expressed to the media multiple times over the past few days, they know that they can be better and they want to get on the score sheet more.
The Canucks are depending on many of their veteran players to provide their success this season. If Ryan Kesler can be the Kesler who was in constant beast-mode throughout the 2010-11 season (injury free), the team has a better chance of success. If Roberto Luongo can provide Olympic goal medal worthy goaltending and live up to the difficult expectations of the city of Vancouver, the team has a better chance of success. So it goes without saying that if the Sedins can put the puck in the other team’s net on a regular basis, the team has a better chance of success.
It has been three seasons since Henrik’s Art Ross and Hart Trophy wins in 2010, and two since Daniel’s Art Ross and Ted Lindsay Trophy wins in 2011. Since then, their point totals have decreased; Daniel’s much more than Henrik’s, and he knows it.
“It has been a disappointment the last two years in that department and I think I need to score. Especially on our line, I am the goal-scorer. It’s up to me to get better,” Daniel told the Vancouver Sun. “I scored 40 once and I would like to be up there again. I still feel like I can produce a lot more than I have the last two years.”
In Daniel’s Art Ross year he had 104 points (41 goals). The next season, in 2011-12, he had 37 fewer points. Daniel believes that his decrease in points and his continued lack of success last season was due to his hesitancy to shoot, as he often passed the puck when he should have shot it instead. However, Daniel was also second on the team last season for shots on net with 138, a big jump up from Alex Edler’s third-ranked 113; perhaps a reflection on the rest of the team’s performance as well.
While the Sedins should not be depended on to do everything and take the blame for losses, they play huge roles on this team. Henrik is captain and Daniel is an assistant captain. They are past Art Ross winners who need to contribute and score goals for the team to be successful. And now, new head coach John Tortorella is going to give them even more things to do (besides blocking shots). In the Canucks preseason game against the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday, the Sedins were seen playing on one of the penalty kill units, something that would have been unheard of under coach Alain Vigneault. They will again be a large part of the powerplay, and now Tortorella has suggested something else: more ice time.
“I want to win that game. I want to win Game 2, I’m not looking to Game 5. So if Sedin or Kes needs to be on the ice in those situations, in that third period and play 12 minutes of that third period, they will play the 12 minutes of that third period to try to win that game,” Tortorella explained to The Globe and Mail.
Henrik agrees; him and Daniel are capable of playing more than they did under Vigneault.
The list of responsibilities (or at least, publicly recognized responsibilities) continues to grow for the 32 year old twins, who have a wealth of experience in the NHL already; 60 more games and Henrik will meet the 1,000 game mark. However, the players will have to get used to the new playing style utilized by their new head coach; but already Tortorella greatly admires the Sedins and their drive to be better players.
“I just hope the kids are watching in the camp,” Tortorella told the Vancouver Sun during the Canucks’ main training camp, “just how they carry themselves, with the class that they do have, with the intensity when they need to have it. They fought one another to the bitter end in the run. I just hope the kids are noticing because that’s very important to watch what these guys have done in the league, where they are in the league and what they are still doing to try and prepare for another season.”