Henrik Sedin expected to return to lineup on Saturday night, but why though?

Dimitri Filipovic
April 04 2014 02:03PM

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According to a report stemming from today's practice Henrik Sedin is expected to make his return to the Canucks lineup on Saturday night, when the team plays host to the Los Angeles Kings. As you'll recall he was injured nearly two weeks ago now, when he took an awkward hit to the leg on a play behind the net (which is ironic, since those three words generally elicit such positive thoughts). 

The return falls right in-line with the initial prognosis of 2 weeks, but still, there's ample reason to question why exactly the team would want to bring him back in the first place given the circumstances. 

Read on for more.

The Canucks currently have a 0.03% chance of making the playoffs, and as I outlined earlier this week, they'd be well served to lose as many of the final 5 games as possible. It would behoove them even more to make sure that they're not putting unquestionably their most valuable player in harm's way for no reason, particularly given the laundry list of bumps and bruises he has piled up in an especially tough campaign for the team's Captain.

The key words there are "harm's way", what with the team the Canucks will be facing when he makes his return. These two squads have had a couple of really outwardly physical games this year, and Henrik Sedin has been at the center of it all. He hasn't necessarily been the guy throwing the punches, but both the November 25th and January 13th meetings - which featured a combined 189 penalty minutes - all started with dirty runs by one Jordan Nolan on Henrik himself. 

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Those aren't the only times that Nolan, who I generally perceive as a fairly scummy player that isn't nearly good enough to get away with the things he tries to do, has gone after him. It seems like every time these teams play Top Sixtito is dropping the gloves with him as a result, and if I were a betting man, I'd probably wager we see them add another chapter to that rivalry on Saturday night. 

With all of that being said, I guess I can see the rationale for bringing Henrik back into the mix if he has in fact said that he's good to go. Given all of the off-ice drama involving the Coach and GM, it makes sense that the team would try to divert the attention back onto the on-ice product.

Henrik Sedin has made a career of making everyone he plays with better. We know that. But one guy in particular that will be undoubtedly thrilled to see him will be Nicklas Jensen, who has fallen on some hard times recently. This rough patch has by no means  come of left field. Which is why I was pretty surprised to see commenters take offense with my insinuations that Jensen would struggle without Henrik there to spoonfeed him in the comments section below the article announcing #33 would miss 2 weeks. 

"Soooo...you really are trying to contribute the success of Jensen to the play of Henrik and Burr? Two players who coincidentally struggled right until the moment that Jensen joined that line?" is what one person said, which I responded to with "yes, I am saying that."

This isn't meant to blast that person, because he certainly wasn't alone. The Jensen Train was running rougshod through Vancouver at that time. The point I'm trying to make is that Nicklas Jensen has 6 shots, no goals, and 1 assist in the 4 games Henrik has missed. Some of that has to do with his brief stint down the lineup, some of that has to do with the inevitable slowing down he was due for. But a lot of it was due to the fact that he didn't have one of the world's best playmakers around to serve as a safety blanket of sorts.

Let us never forget just how amazingly successful Henrik Sedin is at doing what he does for a living.

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Dimitri Filipovic writes about hockey on the internet, and is the Managing Editor of Canucks Army. You can follow him on Twitter @DimFilipovic, and email him at dimitri.filipovic@gmail.com.
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#1 GeezMoney
April 04 2014, 02:16PM
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I guess all of those paying customers at the rink should be happy with a little more Jordan Schroeder, then?

I know a lot of TV fans will hate knowing Henrik might a). get hurt b). hurt the team's chances at a higher draft pick. That said, if I paid $200+ to attend the game live it certainly wouldn't be because of Rogers Arena's world reknown ambience. I would want to see the best team possible on the ice.

It is of course an entertainment business.

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#3 Chungus
April 04 2014, 02:32PM
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I could really use a moral victory right about now.

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#4 NM00
April 04 2014, 02:41PM
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@Chungus

Moral victories are fine.

Just as long as there aren't any actual victories for the rest of the season...

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#5 van
April 04 2014, 02:44PM
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Why is Torts splitting the Sedins up again? Still haven't seen Daniel-Henrik-Jensen yet.

If Jensen could sustain his level of lay with Henrik (not his sh%), could he play on the top line next year?

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#6 GeezMoney
April 04 2014, 04:00PM
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Dimitri Filipovic wrote:

Very fair point. That's what I was alluding to with my "diverting attention back to on-ice product" remark, but I probably should've given that some more air time.

Not that what you say is without merit of course. But yeah, i think the majority of fans who comment aren't season ticket holders. When people call for full on tanking, they also fail to acknowkedge that there is a paying public who doesn't live in NHL fantasy land.

As always, appeciate the work Dmitri. :)

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#7 argoleas
April 04 2014, 10:19PM
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NM00 wrote:

Moral victories are fine.

Just as long as there aren't any actual victories for the rest of the season...

So all close losses, where everyone plays well, but the other team is just a bit better? I can live with that.

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#8 Brent
April 05 2014, 12:34AM
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The season really went to hell in a hand basket after the "moral victory" against LA.

The only moral victory I would like to see tomorrow is Kassian pasting Nolan with a clean but devastating body check. Well OK maybe Dustin Brown too. We know topsistito doesn't have the skating skills to do that against those two players. But hey Darren Archibald does....oh yea.....

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#9 C.U.D.
April 05 2014, 10:30PM
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@van

Torts can put the twins together, he can split them up, he can butter them up, he can put bread on them make a philly cheese sandwich out of them but what the hell is Torts going to do when you got two brothers who have disappeared or checked out?

0 plus 0 still equals 0 folks. You can beat a dead horse all you want but you can't get it to run.

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#10 Francesca
April 05 2014, 10:57PM
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Does it really matter if any of the Sedins are in the line up anymore? It's not as if anyone of them are lighting it up. MIA big time.

And speaking of lighting it up, Luongo fans should know that the great one is lighting it up in florida. Maybe we can trade for Luongo again and make him a center.

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