September 24 2010 02:54PM
We continue our series where Canucks Army will profile various players of interest leading up to the new season.
Henrik Sedin had the greatest single season in the history of the Vancouver Canucks. He won the Hart trophy as the NHL's MVP. He led the league in scoring to win the Art Ross trophy, and led the league in a number of other statistical categories. And he did so without his twin brother Daniel at his side for 19 games. He is also a leading candidate to take over the team's vacated captaincy.
But even Henrik would admit... there is still room for improvement, starting after Game 82.
Born in Ornskoldsvik, Sweden, Henrik was drafted 3rd overall by the Canucks in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft, along with twin brother Daniel (as the 2nd overall pick). After playing the third of his 3 years with his hometown SEL club, MoDo, Henrik moved to the NHL with Daniel to join the Canucks for the 2000-01 season. That year, Henrik played all 82 games to begin his NHL career. In fact, in his entire NHL career, Henrik has missed only 10 regular season games and hasn't missed a regular season game since the 2003-04 season.
Counting Stats: 29g-83a-112pts (1st NHL)
Asst1/60: 1.53, Asst2/60: 1.34, Pts/60: 3.96 (all 2nd in NHL to Daniel Sedin)
Team GF when on/60: 4.65 (2nd NHL)
Corsi ON: 13.51
Total Team GF when on-ice: 134 (out of 272) - 49.3%
Total Team GA when on-ice: 67 (out of 222) - 30.2%
The time is now for Henrik. He's coming off a career year. Hell, it was a career year for MOST NHL players. It won accolades and awards and adulation. But what he he didn't win was a Stanley Cup. More specifically, he didn't win a second round playoff series, nor has he ever.
So let's not worry or discuss what Henrik needs to do in the regular season. Frankly if Henrik only scores 80 points this regular, I couldn't care less. He needs to do only two things this season - stay healthy and ramp up his play in the playoffs. In fact, he only needs to be healthy going into March. If he gets injured in November, will it really matter? Probably not. If he's out for 3-4 months that might have a major effect on the club. But that's obviously an improbability. But most importantly, Henrik needs to be healthy in Spring.
But what really for the Canucks is that Henrik takes this team deep into the playoffs. There is a lot of chatter amongst blogger nation and mainstream media that Henrik could or should be the next Canucks captain. Well, whether he gets the 'C' or not, he needs to act like it. He needs to carry this team on his back offensively when the going gets tough. He needs to shake this label of not being a playoff performer. The fact is that Henrik, like his brother, has been slowly improving each and every playoffs. Well it's time for both of them to take a big step, not a little step. He proved he was full-dollar value for his new contract in terms of the regular season. Now it's time to earn it in the post-season. And it's time to earn a different kind of MVP trophy.
Henrik, this is the year you need to play like you're going to win the Conn Smythe trophy.
Earn it. And with it, earn this city that beautiful Cup it's been waiting 40 years to see again.