Written by: Larry “The Nucks IceMan” Johnson
For those of you that may have forgotten what the Hart Trophy is, it’s awarded annually to the player most valuable to his team. You would definitely have to say that Vancouver Canucks Henrik Sedin, is that to his team.
Not only does he sport a +23 but leads the Canucks in scoring, with 23G, 51A for 74 points, which just happens to be tops in the NHL. Now I know that Alexander Ovechkin is only four points behind Henrik as of today but a good case for the MVP can be stated about “who is more valuable to his team”. And no I have not forgotten about Sidney Crosby.
Ovie is surrounded by a load of talent and when he has been out of the lineup from various injuries, the Washington Capitals have not missed a beat. Now consider what would happen to the Canucks if Henrik Sedin were out of the lineup for any length of time?
The Canucks do not have the same talent base as the Caps and therein lies my point. Who else on the Nucks could carry the team the way “Hank” has done this year? Let’s also not forget that he did it earlier in the season when his twin brother Daniel was out of the lineup for 18 games.
Hank, being a centre, was not known in the past as a goal scorer but instead was the setup man for his brother Daniel. This year with Daniel being out Hank became the goal scorer that lies within all NHL players.
The problem with Henrik Sedin is that he plays in the Western Conference and the people back east only get to see him about eight times a year. You can forget about the eastern people catching him on television, as most of the Canuck games start at 10:00 PM eastern time.
Is Henrik as flamboyant as Ovie? Probably not, but he does lead by example in his own special way.
The knock against Henrik has always been that he was not tough enough, but if you watch him play you will see that he’s just like the Energizer Bunny. He may get knocked down, pushed around after the whistle, and taken advantage of, BUT he “takes a lickin’ and still keeps a ticking”, as in scoring.
Besides that, try as they may, the opposition does not intimidate him. In fact Henrik seems to rise to another level when faced with the physical treatment. Last year in the playoffs Henrik came of age, especially against the Blackhawks who were taking no prisoners.
That was another mark against him that has been disproved - that he could not produce in the playoffs or play when it counted.
It’s no coincidence that the ‘Nucks power play is fourth in the NHL in PP%. and first in goals. Henrik has a team-leading 19 points on that special team, with 3 PPG and 16 PPA – another stat that shows his value to the team.
If you don’t think he’s the straw that stirs the drink on the Sedin-Sedin-Burrows line, then you have missed the boat my friend. Alex Burrows can testify to that, as Henrik Sedin and of course Daniel Sedin have made Burrows a 25+ goal scorer.
Together that line has 164 points in 51 games. Just to solidify my point about Henrik, brother Daniel has 46 points in 33 games.
In conclusion, it’s not hard to see that Henrik Sedin is truly the most valuable player to his team, and if he finishes in the top three of the NHL scoring race, he has to be strongly considered for the Hart trophy!
Filed under: Opinion