Daniel and Henrik Sedin have pride. They have tons of it. They weren’t about to accept the legacy being written.
Three straight first-round playoff losses in five games or less? That wasn’t going to happen on their watch.
Vancouver had its reasons for losing those last two series – not the least of which was Daniel’s concussion from Duncan Keith – but they’re in a different place this year.
The Sedins are back to being top-15 scorers in the league, they continue to prove they are tough as hell playing more physically than they ever have before, and with no Ryan Kesler to help, they were ready to carry their team in this year’s playoffs.
The Canucks won Game 5 by a score of 2-1 despite being down 1-0 after the first. With the win, they’ve forced a Game 6 Saturday night in Calgary.
1. Too much Sedins is never too much
The twins played a dominant first game. Henrik was on the ice for 18 chances for and just 5 shots against. It was as if the ice was tilted when they played.
So consider this – in a 1-0 Canucks game where the Sedins played limited time in the third, what if they had played 2 or 3 more shifts?
How would Calgary tie the game up if the puck was in their end? How would they score the game-winning goal?
And wouldn’t the Canucks have had a much better chance of scoring the go-ahead goal as well?
This is nothing new, and something most Canucks fans and media (Jason Botchford and Thomas Drance caught it first, I believe) have been saying for days, but there are still some who are defending coach Willie’s decisions and saying the players didn’t get it done.
Don Taylor and Bob “the Moj” Marjanovich went on and on on TSN 1040 today, saying it doesn’t matter which players had played, if the Canucks players were outworked like they were in Game 4, they could never win.
But if the players getting outworked hadn’t played so much, and the players dominating the ice had, wouldn’t that change things?
In Game 5, Henrik played 20, Daniel played 19. Game 1: Hank 17, Daniel 16.
The results are on the scoreboard.
2. When Hank talks…
We know the Sedins are quiet guys who let their play do the talking.
After the game Scott Oake asked Nick Bonino if anyone in the room said anything inspiring.
“Henrik talked about how they were down 3-1 a few years ago and came back against St. Louis, and then they were up 3-1 in the next series and they lost that, so he said anything can happen. The boys took that to heart and we got the win tonight.”
When quiet guys like the Sedins talk, their teammates listen.
3. Credit for Bones
Nick Bonino has and his linemates haven’t had a wonderful series. So not wonderful that Drance wrote this tweet during Game 4:
Maybe the story of this series so far is that the Nick Bonino line has been, to put it kindly, something of a liability.
— Thomas Drance (@ThomasDrance) April 22, 2015
While the Sedins were working their tails off, winning battles and owning the puck, the Bonino line was doing the opposite. They weren’t hungry enough.
Thursday night they were hungrier. They certainly didn’t win all their battles, as the Corsi numbers show (they were at the bottom of list for the Canucks), but in Calgary’s end they were driving every puck they could towards the Flames net.
Here’s Nick Bonino’s goal, which tied the game up for Vancouver. Vrbata set it up with a nice pass.
4. Hit me with your best shot
If we take one lesson from Game 5, it’s if both teams play hard, the Canucks win. Don’t believe me? Listen to Bob Hartley’s post-game comments.
“We tried our very best. I’m very proud of our players. They did a great job. We battled and we battled.”
The Flames did their best yet they couldn’t win. The Canucks were disciplined, they cared more about moving the puck than retaliating on late hits…
— Mike S.™ (@Mike_Stefanuk) April 24, 2015
…and they focused more on playing hockey than playing into the Flames’ goonery.
Want to feel even better about the Canucks? More Hartley:
“I’ve said it many times – we’re facing a great organization and a team that knows how to win. With the Sedins, it’s a special team.”
Now snap out of it. Isn’t the jerk who talks like he’s perfect and gentle the biggest jerk of all? That’s the kind of stuff that makes people snap and want to run into other team’s lockerrooms to fight.
5. William H. Macy is so hot
These good looking guys made it out to the game with some random girls.
— Vancouver Canucks (@VanCanucks) April 24, 2015
OK, I saw her on my TV and asked an innocuous question. Really innocent!
Is Kate Upton a #Canucks fan?
— omarcanuck (@omarcanuck) April 24, 2015
Certain women were not so happy with me mentioning her name during the game. My aim is not to embarrass anyone so I’m not going to put their tweets here. But this right here was the joke of the night.
— Ryan Chow (@jehovasvictim) April 24, 2015
6. Some laughs for this happy night
Nick Kypreos should have had Matt Damon’s role in Team America World Police. #Canucks
— For Nuck Sake (@fornucksake) April 24, 2015
Paul Almeida asked why Daniel Sedin didn’t shoot a puck, prompting this exchange:
@ADanielWagner I’m new here. Sbisa’s good right? Can’t wait to see PP2. How old is Sam Bennett?
— Paul Almeida (@paulalmeida22) April 24, 2015
I’m jealous. Imagine how well we’d all sleep if we thought Sbisa was good.