The NHL’s Best Duo Over the last Five Seasons

October 26th, 2010 No Comments

The Sedin Twins

Is there a better twosome that plays on the same line in the NHL these days, than Henrik and Daniel Sedin? I mean who knew that the Twins would evolve into such consistent scoring machines.

Being picked in the 1999 NHL Entry draft as the number two and three in the first round, was in itself a great accomplishment. That will go down as Brian Burke’s best drafting move he’s pulled off to date.

Not that the Vancouver fans took to them in their early years, as they were unceremoniously dubbed with some unflattering titles, such as the “Sisters”.

They were deemed to be too slow, soft, wimp-like and no-shows at play-off time.

Yes, they had to endure a lot of flak around Vancouver, but they were determined to change that with a lot of hard work in the off-season.

Originally, say back about eight to nine years ago, they bulked themselves up to withstand the punishment that the opposition would heap upon them during games and after whistles.

They never were going to be fighters or players that retaliated, and that was one of the reasons they were looked upon as “Swedish Soft”. But give them credit, they took a licking and kept on ticking.

They were not going to be players that you could intimidate or throw off their game, no matter what you did to them. Just have a look at their stats since the 2005-06 season. Well hang on there, I’ll get to that.

Now before the obstruction rules were enforced to the max, the Sedins were able to get by, like a lot of slower skaters, with the usual hooking, grabbing, etc. But once the NHL clamped down on that, they had to change or fall by the wayside.

This time they started by dropping some of the weight they had put on to bulk up and really immersed themselves in becoming better skaters. Over the last two or three seasons they have improved to the point that they can keep up with today’s NHL speed. Is it Mason Raymond type-speed? No, but it’s passable.

Let’s now deal with the numerous line mates that they have had, and I’m not going to bore you with the names, because there are too many to list. What  the common denominator has been through all those changes, is the consistency that the Twins have provided.

They could make 20 plus goal scorers out of just about anyone playing on their line, as attested to by the likes of Trent Klatt or Taylor Pyatt from years gone by.

It is interesting that when Alex Burrows joined them two seasons ago, their point totals increased and Henrik has become a more rounded centre with 22 and 29 goals over that period. But I digress.

The idea that the Sedins have to play together to be effective got thoroughly tested last season. This was when Daniel was out of the line-up for about 20 games and Henrik had to go it alone, so to speak.

Henrik Sedin

Everyone knows how that turned out, as Henrik went on to win the Art Ross and Hart Trophies. So it’s safe to say that they can perform on their own.

It was during the time of Daniel’s absence that Henrik really took his game to another level and became, in the eyes of management and team mates, a true leader. He literally put the team on his back and carried it during a period when the team was in need of leadership and direction.

This season it came as no surprise when Henrik was presented with the Captain’s sweater during the opening night celebrations. He had definitely earned it.

Daniel has always been the goal scorer, set up by Henrik, and a bit quieter of the two. Over the last two seasons he has also raised the level of his play and now is one of the Alternate Captains. Who can tell them apart anyway?

Now to the stats which reinforce my point that they are the greatest twosome playing on the same line.

Over the last five seasons, Henrik has played in 410 games with 94G, 332A for 426 points or 1.04 point per game. Last season, in which he won the Art Ross Trophy, he collected 29G, 83A for 112 points and in doing so, set a new record for assists and points as a Canuck.

Daniel Sedin

Daniel, because of his injury last season, played in fewer games but posted 29G, 56A for 85 points in 63 games. Over the same five-season period, his totals are 147G, 249A for 396 points in 390 games or 1.02 points per game, just about identical to his twin brother.

So collectively they have 241G, 581A for 822 points in 800 games or 1.03 points per game.

In there lies the proof of their durability, consistency and greatness as the Best NHL Duo in the past five seasons that have played on the same line.

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