You would think that NHL teams would have figured out how to defend against Daniel and Henrik by now. The Sedins added another incredible display of skill and creativity to their highlight reel on Tuesday night in overtime against the Ottawa Senators. Daniel’s game-winner also served as a very important reminder regarding the Golden Rule for defending against the Sedins - the most dangerous Sedin is always the one without the puck.
If you happen to be a friend or relative of Clarke MacArthur, Cody Ceci, or Craig Anderson, I wouldn’t advise reading any further.
Kevin Bieksa starts the play that leads to the goal. He takes a Jannik Hansen pass and surveys the offensive zone before moving the puck down the near boards to his defensive partner, Dan Hamhuis. Over the years and regardless of who is behind the bench, Canuck defensemen have become very good at pinching in the offensive zone at the right times to both sustain and create pressure. Hamhuis, in particular, does a great job here to take Bieksa’s pass and make a quick decision to fire the puck over to Henrik (never a bad idea, I might add).
Henrik starts to move into the slot with the puck. MacArthur comes out attempting to disrupt a pass attempt (I would say shot attempt, but this is Henrik we are talking about). Henrik then pulls a body fake that would make Patrick Kane proud.
Now you see me…
Now you don’t. MacArthur finds himself five or six feet out of position in a matter of seconds. This move is exactly why the Sedins are going to age very gracefully as hockey players. They have never relied on speed or physical attributes as much as deception and positioning.
Henrik continues to move into a prime shooting area, so naturally he decides to whip a pass across the slot. Anderson isn’t cheating but he has to know that a pass is coming. However, 99 percent of the time that pass is going to the player in the high slot – Hamhuis, in this case. But as we have seen time and time again, the Sedins aren’t always interested in making the easy or expected play.
Where did he come from? From one knee, Daniel fires a crisp one-timer far side, off the bar, and in. I am not a scientist but I’d say the odds of any other player pulling this shot off is about as likely as Matthew McConaughey being the guy to save planet earth. (I haven’t seen Interstellar yet, so this is just a guess. Please don’t ruin it for me.)
Anderson’s post-game thoughts on the goal:
“Perfect shot. He goes bar-in. You have to tip your hat to these guys sometimes. They are good hockey players.”
Good hockey players. Can I get understatement for $1,000, Alex?
Even Paul MacLean can’t believe that Daniel was able to score from there.
Ceci (number five in white) is on an island here. Logic is telling him to stay in the slot, but the voice in his head is reminding him about the Golden Rule for defending against the Sedins.
Ceci moves into the slot to defend nobody. Henrik Sedin has a point-blank opportunity on his strong side, but we all know where this puck is heading.
I don’t remember high school math too well, but I do believe that Daniel is shooting at the net from an acute angle here. It sure is great to have exciting – and most importantly, winning – hockey back in Vancouver. A lot of that is thanks to 22 and 33.