By now you’re probably up on the fact that the Sedin brothers are good at hockey. If you’re not, well, take off the Chicago Blackhawks coloured blindfold.

The Sedins are my favourite players in the league, and I’m no Canucks fan.

They were damn close to winning back-to-back Hart Trophies. They took their team to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final last year. They’re accomplished, and we’re all well aware of that.

But what I love so much about them is that they’re doing what they’re doing entirely differently than any other superstars in the NHL, and differently than anyone I can ever remember watching play.

We tend to minimize what they do because oh, they’re those crazy-looking twins, they’re telepathic! Hahaha.

Of course, they’re not telepathic. They’re just insanely #%&!ing good and crazy smart.

Over the years, Alex Ovechkin has accomplished what he has with sheer power, pedal constantly to the floor. His fastball is better than yours, and he’s gonna bring it up and in. Skates hard, shoots hard, hits hard.

Not an uncommon picture.

Sidney Crosby does it with golden hands, great vision and dogged determination. He is, through and through, a hockey player. He’s good at everything, and great at most things.

Datsyuk is unique like them, but Zetterberg is just flat-out good at hockey.

It’s having the two of them together that’s so petrifying.

The only other possible duo I can think of that thought the game in a unique way as the Sedins do at the same time would probably be Jari Kurri and Wayne Gretzky, but the I still think these two take the ”unique” factor to the next level.

When you kill penalties, you have certain rotations set up to defend whatever formation your opponent is using. All of these defensive techniques are based on the assumption that players go to certain spots and try to set up certain looks just because that’s what they’ve always done.

It’s almost always some variation of a guy on the wall, one on the goal line and one in front, or – gasp – an umbrella.

But these two go to different soft spots in the offensive zone - holes that other players don’t go because A) their teammates don’t expect them to be there and B) even if they did they couldn’t thread the puck through the eye of the needle to get it to them. So, off to the slot again, I guess.

Go to danielorhenrik.com, seriously.

It’s like they play with clear minds and no pre-sets, which is the opposite of the North American way. We beat “the right decisions” into kids heads from youth hockey on up. Got the puck in the corner? Look to the point. Got it in the neutral zone? Drive it wide or dump it in.

They almost operate within the game without thinking, turned off but still awake like monks, processing nothing but seeing everything.

Or maybe they’re in some hockey Matrix where they took the red pill. I don’t know.

The coolest thing about that is, their teammates (especially Alex Burrows, and especially their powerplay unit) have come to expect it, so now they take the extra second to find the open guy, not just The Guy They’re Supposed To Pass To. It’s opened everyone up creatively.

But enough fawning. Here’s some video:

From last night on the powerplay. There’s not even a guy in the strong side corner for Edler to pass it to. Totally unique.

Daniel drifts to a spot where, if he gets the puck, it’s as good as a goal.

Next, the backhand sauce from Henrik earlier in the season, where Daniel finds the soft spot and cashes in.

Great patience.

Next: really, you’re just gonna dish it back and forth in the slot? (Here’s the link if video doesn’t play)

Yeah, they’re on the same page.

Why else wouldn’t Daniel shoot it here: (Link if video doesn’t play)

This has little to do with my point, but my word:

It’s a different game out there for those two.

It drives me nuts when people talk about the Canucks and say something like “well, they have the Sedins and Kesler, but after that…” or whatever. Them being lumped together all the time devalues them, like having your birthday on Christmas.

If someone says “well, they have Crosby and Malkin” it sounds like a whole lot more than “well, they have the Sedins.” That’s the same amount of super-humans, friends.

We’re privileged to get to watched these guys play. They’re damn special talents.

Comments (36)

  1. It’s a hard thing to qualify, but sometimes there’s just no pleasing people. The Sedins are often seen as soft players, but I’ve seen them take some brutal punishment and just keep on skating. It’s taken them a few years, but they’ve realised the potential that everyone expected of them, and more. They play in a market that’s little-covered by the East and much maligned by the rest of the league, and for a fanbase that can oftentimes seem fickle.

    I don’t care. I’ve been a life-long Canucks fan, and it’s a joy to see those two play. They’ve brought about an age of exciting hockey that hasn’t been seen before in Vancouver, greater than even the West Coast Express era. I hope we’ve got a few years get of watching some Wizardous Sedinerie.

    • They do have a very unique way of playing the game. Their no look passes in particular are very unusual, especially since they do them so frequently. They don’t seem to need to look for each other…they just know. They both have really amazing vision on the ice….as Bourne said, they are able to spot fleeting passing lanes and thread the needle to each other.

      I marvel at the pure hockey skill of Crosby and the power of Ovechkin, but I agree, the twins are something different altogether.

  2. When they were rookies, the “take a drink when a Sedin gets knocked off the puck” game would’ve killed a man. Today however, there as good as anyone in the league down low, maintaining possession and creating. Four rounds of playoff hockey where you’re targeted night in, night out, and they kept trucking….anyone who calls them “soft” isn’t thinking rationally.

    • FYI – The 3rd and 4th videos won’t play for me. (The other 3 are fine.)

    • They are soft, both of them let themselves and thier brother get abused by Marchand.

      • That’s why Henrik has the second longest iron streak in the league after Bouwmeester. Daniel would be right there beside him if it weren’t for his broken foot. They’re not soft. and I didn’t see Daniel drop like a sack of potatoes after being repeatedly punched. if he was a diver, he would have dropped and covered his face… Lapierre on the other hand would have fake blood capsules in his glove…

  3. The crazy thing about them is, both are slow and neither has an elite shot. All of a sudden you picture that fat dude you play beer league with. I’d love to see a percentage of the amount of times they score goals just because they’ve passed it around the goalie and just put it into the open net.

    Sometimes I wonder how good I’d be if I played with the same linemate my whole life. Might not be commenting on a blog…

    • Wait, the guy who won the accuracy skill competition at the last All-Star game doesn’t have an elite shot? You have a weird definition of elite shot, then.

      • Yes, he can be accurate. But how many times do you see him walk off the boards and snipe?

      • I thought the same thing, then thought he might be talking about speed.

        I’d be surprised if Daniel could hit 70mph with his shot. ;)

      • Picking off plates with nobody around is a hell of a lot different than being a sniper in an legit game.

        • You are definitely trolling. I’ve been watching these two since they joined the league and I haven’t ever had to say… Henrik should’ve had that one or Daniel should’ve had that one. Elite players! Elite passes! Definitely elite shooters!.

          • No one would ever call Henrik an elite shooter, And yeah, big time troll. Canucks are my favourite team.

        • Keep in mind that Daniel is coming off a 41-goal season, so it’s not like he can only shoot well in practice.

          Also, I have no idea how you can make this comment after seeing the first two videos on this very post. Daniel deposits the puck just under the bar on both those goals, even though he likely didn’t need to on the first one to score. The guy’s accuracy is definitely elite.

          • If you’ve been watching the Sedins since the beginning of their career you;d know they were regularly stoned at the doorstep earlier on. Yes, Daniel can be accurate. Still not elite. The first video has Bryz on his stomach. Doesn’t matter where he puts it there — anyone in the NHL buries that (aside from maybe Tanner Glass).

            The second one was a snipe.

            Still, when I think elite shot, I think 2003 Naslund, top of the circle, high blocker. Daniel hasn’t shown that consistently at all.

    • You can’t be serious. I predict you would never have a chance on making it to the NHL. That is the truth! your comments are just plain trolling. Go back under your bridge.

      • And any of us aside from Justin did have the chance? Still, I’ve been a goalie my whole life. I know an elite shot when I see one. Stamkos, Ovechkin (two years ago) have elite shots. Not Daniel, not nearly hard enough.

        • I wouldn’t troll a post that talks about how good my favourite team’s two best players are. 41 goals is great, but like I said, a lot of those came from sick passes — which is awesome. It’s not a slight against Daniel at all.

          Remember when Kesler went on that tear last year, where he would rip down the right wing and pick whichever corner he wanted? That is an elite shot. Never seen Daniel do that.

          • You totally missed the point… Daniel doesn’t have to snipe from the top of the circle like every other NHL Star. But just because he doesn’t, doesn’t mean can’t.
            Most of the guys who you’d describe as having an elite shot often do the bulk of the work on their own. Daniel and Henrik always take one more pass than anyone expects, getting the goalie so far out of position that the goal ends up looking like a tap-in. Don’t kid yourself, everything about these guys is elite.
            Also, I’ve never understood the knock on the Sedins’ speed. I know they aren’t blazing fast, but the Canucks are supposed to be a fast skating, high-tempo team… how is it possible for a team to have that kind of identity, and yet their two best players are “slow”?

  4. I’ve had them in my dynasty pool since ’99. Other Canucks fans in the pool don’t enjoy the games so much when they’re facing me that week.

    One thing I noticed is that as good as they are at passing, sometimes they don’t even try to pass tape-to-tape, or where they think the other is going to be. I’ve noticed, for example, that Henrik will put it up around waist height and Daniel just picks it out of the air and goes with it. I used to think these were just errant passes, but now I think it’s part of their game. They put it somewhere that nobody else can get it. (Watch for it when they’re along the boards, especially behind the goal-line.)

    Crazy.

  5. That PP goal last night was pretty wonderful. Sometimes you can’t help but think noooo, not one more pass, but it works. Those saucer passes are amazing. Seeing them live is totally amazing. I keep waiting for the year that other teams figure them out and negate them, but it doesn’t happen. They are far from soft, as you point out. They take more abuse than a lot of players because that is the only way other teams can deal with them. I really hate the “sisters” moniker — and I particularly hate Mike Milbury. And while I’m at it, WTF is all this about the Canucks being the most hated team? Why?

    • I can answer that. I’m not even a Hawks fan.

      The Canucks have had a very prominent heel for most of their history. Combine that with a rabid, most incoherent, prone to acts of violence post-loss, homer fanbase, and voila! The are unrootforable.

      Matt Cooke, Burrows, Lapierre, Burrows, Kesler (before he had his tear ducts hot-glued shut and learned how to play hockey) Burrows. Basically, what is wrong with hockey in a nutshell. Good enough for you?

      • You just listed agitators. And in the case of Burrows and Kesler, skilled players too. Concussions are damaging the seasons, and post-hockey careeers, of some players, and THAT’S what you think is wrong with hockey? Huh?

        • Same issue. Quite a few of these concussions were/are caused by people not respecting their opponents. These guys show no respect for their opponents, outside of Kesler, whom I think is great by the way.

          Ken Linesman may have invented it, but Lapierre and Cooke have perfected it. Also, way to ignore Matt Cooke’s history. Agitator my ass. That is the worst euphemism in the sports world. Cowardinos is the new one. Use at will.

  6. As they say, “you can’t give a good player a bad pass.” As in, if it’s within his vicinity, he should be able to corral it.

    Anyone else having a problem with the bottom two videos?

  7. yeah, 2 of them aren’t working

  8. great work! i totally agree with you! they’re magical on the ice together

  9. I can’t deny that I’m a homer, but it’s hard to watch some of the other teams in the league after seeing Wizardous Sedinerie. Here’s to hoping Crosby gets back soon.

  10. They are the most entertaining players in the game today. It almost seems unfair sometimes when they’re forechecking against an opponents 3rd d-pair. It reminds me of playing any game against my older brother when i was a kid. It just becomes a game of ‘keep-away until I feel like scoring’.

  11. You mean it’s not just us Canucks fans who are the biggest of the biggest homers that find them talented? Wow!
    Just kiddin’
    Thank you for a nice post with some great goals.
    I think I would have added the play where Henrik passes the puck to Burr trough Niemi’s 5-hole… Poor goalies, these 2 are a nightmare.

  12. Daniel can have a very good shot when he wants to. Anyone remember that goal against Chicago? It’s just not his bread and butter, the Sedins seem to do more than well enough doing what they do with their amazing passing ability.

    It’s really not all about having the greatest shot in the league, it’s about being the smartest player combined with a strong base of good skills. Guys like St Louis, Datsyuk, and Crosby are all elite because they are so skilled and they are so smart. The Sedins are at the lower end of that skill pool (in my opinion, anyway), but they’re so smart in how they play the game, it makes up for any comparison of skill between those other players.

  13. As fortunate nux seasons tix holders we have witnessed the “boys who can’t skate” in this league become “men who dominate” the opposition regularly. We as hockey fans everywhere are privy to something very unique and special. Puck possession for up to 45-60 sec in the offensive zone! They are not your rockem’ sockem’ Canadian style players but are superbly cerebral. Gretzky, Datsyuk and maybe Thorton have it. The Sedins are the only players who understand and use the body position of themselves and their opponents to create imbalances defensively and break down schemes with rapid short passes. Similar to how Larry Bird would exploit the pick and roll but had no running speed.
    We are witnessing greatness … Enjoy it while it lasts cause you won’t see this ever again.

  14. How can you be born in BC, play minor hockey and junior in BC, college career right next door and be “no Canucks fan”?

    That’s like my friend who’s lived in BC since before he had pubic hair and is still a diehard Flames fan!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *