Hello, this is a feature that will run through the entire season and aims to recap the weekend's events and boils those events down to one admittedly superficial fact or stupid opinion about each team. Feel free to complain about it.
There are certain disadvantages to playing in the Western Conference. For one thing, many of your opponents will be good at hockey, and therefore it's hard to win games (this is, of course, not true of the Eastern Conference). For another, it's very hard to get any amount of publicity.
It's true. I looked it up on NHL.com just now. For those unfamiliar, he's the one that has a brother that looks just like him.
I've always been a big fan of both Henrik and Daniel Sedin(notes). I think they play an entertaining style and, well, they're incredibly underappreciated.
(Coming Up:More chatter about the weekend's big trades; preparing for a Sloppy Seconds reunion; Sex-y time is over for Anaheim; brilliant goals for Marleau and Crosby; Volchenkov lays the legal boom on Cammalleri; the Kings of the road; why the Senators are the best team no one's talking about; the Flyers turn to Krajicek; the return of David Booth(notes); Iginla-is-god update; fond farewell to Toskala; and a fan-invented way for Brian Burke to rescue Jordan Staal(notes) from Pittsburgh.)
So now they have a competent linemate in Alex Burrows(notes), and look at the production from all three. They've scored 178 combined points in 144 man-games, and that's obviously with Daniel missing 18 games (a streak during which Henrik still scored 18 points). The twins are second and third in the league in points per game behind only Alex Ovechkin(notes), not that you've heard a word about it from Versus or NBC.
Perhaps the reason no one realizes how good the Sedins are: They rarely score flashy, or "Ovechkin-y," goals. Most of their goals look like this. Their ability to cycle is unrivaled by any on the planet and their preternatural knowledge of where the other was, is and will be borders on psychic.
I watched a Canucks game last week in which the Canucks struggled against the lowly Oilers. No one had a good night. Except the Sedin-run power play, which combined for all three Vancouver goals behind three assists from Henrik, the overtime game-winner and two assists from Daniel, a goal and an assist from Sami Salo(notes), and a goal from Burrows. That's when I decided to write this column.
This weekend, I was a little nervous watching the Canucks' game with Toronto. The Leafs, inexplicably led 3-0 and chased Roberto Luongo(notes), and the Sedin-Sedin-Burrows line hadn't done much. I couldn't in good conscience write a paean to the Sedins with no points between them in their most recent game, especially if it was against the Maple Leafs.
But they came alive in the third period as they are wont to do, scoring three rather Sedinish goals and finishing with three goals and two assists between them (Burrows, meanwhile, had 2-2-4 in the game) and simply took over the game like it was no big deal.
The way Alex Ovechkin is rampaging up the leaderboards in both goals and total points, it's likely that Henrik will be forced to relinquish his death-grip on the Art Ross frontrunner's spot pretty soon; but if this little run at the top makes even a few more people say, "Wow, the Sedins really are awesome," then that's okay with me. It might force the NHL to acknowledge the existence of the Western Conference beyond Detroit.
What We Learned
Anaheim Ducks: After all the weekend's trading left the Ducks with no backup goaltender for tonight's game against Florida, they recalled Justin Pogge(notes) and sent down... Dan Sexton(notes)?Really? He has nine goals and nine assists in 28 games and is getting second-line minutes. Okay. And by the way, that the Ducks took on Jason Blake's(notes) contract is by far the funniest part of the Toronto trades.
Atlanta Thrashers: Atlanta's three options with Ilya Kovalchuk(notes) are simple: sign him, trade him, keep him for the rest of the season. I'm kind of hoping for the third option, just so all the breathless Twitter updating on Deadline Day goes for naught.