February 06 2014 02:50PM
This morning news broke that Henrik Sedin would be missing the final two games on the schedule for the Vancouver Canucks prior to the Olympic break. His status for the actual Sochi games themselves was unclear, but coach John Tortorella went on the record saying that he would like to see him pass on the opportunity to represent his country, in an attempt to prepare himself for a stretch run where his NHL team will desperately need his services.
The coach's opinion wasn't an original one by any means, as fans of the team have been fairly vocal in their pleas for him to be shut down for the forseeable future. Especially her his meek showing in Boston on Tuesday, where he showed that he couldn't take the lightest of bodychecks (stopping short and literally protecting his ribs with an outstretched arm), and was a shell of his formerly great self.
Well, a report out of Sweden has surfaced saying Henrik Sedin will indeed be bowing out of the tournament. I can't personally read Swedish, so that report doesn't necessarily mean all that much to me, but what does is carry some weight is the confirmation which Dan Murphy just tweeted.
From a Tre Kronor perspective, I'm not sure that this is necessarily the worst of news. Obviously a healthy Henrik Sedin would've been a big part of their team, but I figure that the team's braintrust had already resigned themselves to the fact that they weren't getting that this year. Unless he took some sort of magical elixir that healed him of his rib and finger issues, he probably wouldn't have provided much more than moral support to them.
They're in Group C with the Czech Republic, Switzerland, and Latvia, and I figure that they're still the favourite out of those 4 teams even without his services. He'll be replaced on the team by Mikael Backlund, who at this point (taking the ailments into account) is probably a better option.
He plays in Calgary, and may not necessarily have eye-popping counting stats, but he's a darn good hockey player. When asked for his thoughts on the matter, Mikael Samuelsson put his drink down in a local Grand Rapids bar, and told them that "they can go [expletive] themselves. That's what I really think."
As for the Canucks, their first game coming out of the break will be on February 26th against the Blues, which kickstarts a mini 3-game homestand. It's impossible to say with any certainty just how much the break will help him in returning to the form we've all come to expect from him, but it definitely won't hurt. This is a team that needs anything it can get at this point, having scored just 19 goals as a team in the 10 games since Marty Hanzal went to town on their captain.
While it must suck for Henrik Sedin to forfeit the chance to compete against the world's best for his motherland, this finally marks some good injury news for the team that's paying him $6.1 million this year to play hockey.