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Lessons in Sedin-ery

Wednesday, 01.8.2014 / 9:00 AM PT / Features
By Jeff Angus
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Lessons in Sedin-ery
Unsurprisingly, the top three plays (as voted on by an esteemed panel consisting of myself and some of my Twitter followers) from the first half of the 2013-14 season all involve Daniel and Henrik Sedin.

And, also unsurprisingly, the Sedins are victimizing three of their favorite targets for the three goals: the Edmonton Oilers, the Toronto Maple Leafs, and an Eastern Conference opponent. I don’t have the numbers handy, but how many highlight reel goals have the Sedins combined for against Edmonton over the years? 10? 20? More?

Poor Devan Dubnyk – this is a common site for Edmonton goaltenders whenever the Sedins are on the ice. I’m not even sure a trip to Lasik MD would help.

I haven’t put the three plays in any sort of order - I’m hoping to get some feedback from you. Which of the following three plays from the first half of 2013-14 stands out from the rest?

Daniel Sedin goal against Toronto – November 02, 2013

The goal:

The breakdown:

Vancouver’s domination of Toronto on the same night that the club retired Pavel Bure’s jersey was unquestionably the game of the first quarter for the Canucks (and their fans). It would have also been the best game of the first half if not for a certain game against a certain team from a city that begins with the letter ‘B’.’

This goal featured a phenomenal through-the-legs tip pass, which has become a Sedin staple over the years. But this time, it wasn’t 22 or 33 who keyed the goal with it.

Dan Hamhuis carries the puck along the half-wall as Vancouver sets up on the power play after a faceoff win.

Hamhuis puts the puck on Kesler’s stick blade, and Kesler tips it through his own legs to Henrik, who quickly fires the puck off of his brother Daniel and behind James Reimer (who played a great game in the loss).

Mason Raymond saw a lot of this type of play during his time with the Canucks, and Randy Carlyle looks none too pleased. Although does he ever look happy?

It is very easy to dissect plays on a frame-by-frame basis, but we all know that hockey is an extremely fast sport. The Leafs are in decent position here, but this frame is a great example as to why right-shooting defensemen should be on the right side (and left-shooting defensemen on the left).

Dion Phaneuf is a left-shooting defenseman, but he doesn’t get his stick into the Hamhuis-to-Kesler passing lane. He’s not really blocking any passes on his forehand, as Daniel is already tied up in front of the net.

It’s no Patrick Kane or Danny Briere fist pump, but Henrik finds a way to celebrate in style nonetheless.

Henrik channeling his inner Brett Hull.

Simply an elite play by an elite player. Playing with the Sedins tends to rub off on linemates in a very positive manner, and this is a great example of that.

No chance for Reimer here. Not only was he screened, but the puck also bounced off of Daniel’s jersey on the way in.

Daniel Sedin goal against Edmonton – October 05, 2013

The goal:

The breakdown:

Another power play, this time against Edmonton. The Sedins are doing what they do best in this frame – quickly establishing possession and positioning with the man advantage.

Alex Edler makes a heads-up (literally… his head is up) slap pass to Henrik. Edmonton’s coverage here leaves a lot to be desired. Jeff Petry (who is checking Henrik) isn’t able to break the pass up because he is on the wrong side of the ice.

I am not even going to pretend that this was a set play, but the way Henrik quickly receives the pass and sends a blind back-hand pass through the slot right to Daniel has me thinking…. And on another note – is any pass given by Henrik truly blind? He sees the ice so well.

The two Edmonton forwards both manage to miss picking up Daniel as he grabs the pass and deposits the puck pass a very out-of-position Dubnyk.

I am not an NHL coach, but I don’t think this is an ideal penalty-killing structure.

Here is a useful piece of information for the Oiler players – whenever Henrik has the puck, make sure you know where Daniel is. You might want to try it some time.

I wasn’t able to get a clear enough snapshot of Henrik’s pass, but I think it may have also travelled through Petry’s legs on the way to Daniel’s stick blade. Either way, it was an amazing pass by a guy who makes them look routine.

The Dominik Hasek school of goaltending.

Daniel Sedin goal against Washington – October 28, 2013

The goal:

The breakdown:

Hamhuis makes another appearance here, this time holding the puck in the offensive zone at even strength. Washington is utilizing the rare two-three defensive positioning strategy (more seriously, their bottom three players were slow to break out after collapsing to the net, while their two forwards were quick to pressure the points). As we continue to find out, an even-up situation against the Sedins very often leads to a scoring chance or two.

The puck goes all the way around the net, where Henrik picks it up. He dumps it back down low for Ryan Kesler (or so we are led to believe).

Kesler takes a stiff check from John Carlson, allowing the puck to travel through to Daniel. Nick Backstrom is in decent position here, but the shrewd Sedins are very good at using the net to create a “pick” on their opposing check.

Daniel leaves the puck for Kesler, who quickly popped up off the ice and left Carlson behind him. The Capitals appear to be in pretty good position here as Kesler brings the puck out on his forehand.

The puck gets worked back to Henrik Sedin, who displays his ridiculous hands and a very impressive skating ability all in one. Henrik walks the blue line with the puck, and makes a very deft pass to Daniel.

This frame is a great example as to why playing soccer is beneficial for hockey players (Henrik was once quoted as saying that he and Daniel were too busy playing soccer to attend youth summer hockey camps). One of the keys to being a great soccer player is being able to move quickly and effectively “off the ball.” The Sedins are incredibly good at moving “off the puck.” What that means – as soon as they pass it, they skate to an open lane in order to spread the opposing defense and create more outlets for whoever has the puck.

Daniel wheels out with the puck, and Chris Tanev shows an impressive “off the puck” ability here too. Tanev skates outside of Daniel, and that allows Daniel to freeze Marcus Johansson for a split-second with a fake drop pass.

Evidence of said fake drop pass.

Daniel uses the open ice to step into the slot and wire the puck passed a screened Michal Neuvirth.

All Neuvirth can do is shrug his shoulders.

Kesler is in terrific position in front of the net. The Sedins are about to do what they do best – turn a 2-on-2 into a 2-on-1.

There were a lot of great plays that went into this goal, but the key may have been Tanev drawing Johansson away from Daniel. If Tanev doesn’t take this route, Johansson is probably able to get a stick on Daniel’s shot (or force him to make another pass).

And boom goes the dynamite.

Jannik Hansen against Calgary – December 29, 2013

The goal:

The breakdown:

The puck is blocked in front of the Vancouver goal, and it ends up on Henrik Sedin’s stick. Jannik Hansen immediately heads out of the zone looking for the stretch pass.

You can make out the puck in this frame (just to the right of the blue line below The Keg’s board advertisement). Henrik puts a Nathan Gerbe’s height-worth of sauce on this pass.

The puck lands on the blue line after perfectly splitting the two Calgary defenders. Hansen does a good job to quickly knock it down and establish control, but this goal is all about the pass Henrik makes.

Was this a home game? Hard to tell with the jersey dispersion in the crowd.

Hansen makes a great shot across his body into the top corner. Reto Berra’s positioning wasn’t great on this one, but that doesn’t take away from the goal at all.

The artist at work.