Henrik Sedin (top left) is probably thinking "don’t you dare so much as breathe on Mike Smith, Zack."
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
On Thursday morning (Pacific Time) team Sweden, who are being led by the Sedin twins, will face team Canada in the quarter final of the consolation prize tournament known as the World Championships. Team Canada is led by Steven Stamkos and Claude GIroux, but their team also features Canucks defenceman Dan Hamhuis as well as former Mike Gillis client and jerkpuck all-star team starting goaltender Mike Smith. The Canucks and Mike Smith, of course, had their moments (several moments actually) this past hockey season.
Henrik and Daniel debuted for the Tre Kronor on Tuesday against Denmark. After the game, in giving a rather colourful scouting report of team Canada to the Swedish press, Henrik Sedin really went out of his way to describe Mike Smith as a "diver." Read past the jump.
To begin with, Henrik and Daniel played in their first World Championship game for Team Sweden in over a decade yesterday against the Danish national team (which includes Canucks prospect Nicklas Jensen). Each Sedin registered a goal and an assist and you can watch those highlights below, as narrated by Don Taylor:
Passing the puck through a defenceman’s legs seems way easier when that defenceman isn’t coached by Larry Robinson, eh?
With team Canada personnel in the stands watching Team Sweden beat up on the Danes, Henrik said that his line (which features his brother and Loui Eriksson) "didn’t show everything." Continued Henrik: "[Team Canada] is good at scouting and preparation… They’ve seen us play a lot of hockey and they have one of our teammates (Dan Hamhuis) so they know what we do." [Expressen via GoogleTranslate]
On the topic of Mike Smith, Henrik Sedin was spitting fire. He gaves these quotes in Swedish, but Uffe Bodin, who is the managing editor of HockeySverige was kind enough to give me a proper translation:
"Smith is a fucking big goalie, extremely big and good at playing the puck. He also dives a lot. You can’t barely touch him, then he will fall"
"He’s the goalie in the NHL that draws more penalties than anyone else. I believe it was twelve penalties that the other team took. He goes out, holds on to the puck and then holds on, holds on. When you challenge him or barely touch him, he falls. Tht’s something we’ve got to be careful with. I’m going to tell the ref to keep an eye on him."
Those are some fighting words, and that’s pretty much amazing. The most surprising thing about Henrik’s comments? That he managed to say something that might endear him to Blackhawks fans. A stunning development, really.
Mike Smith certainly has earned his reputation as a diver over the years, though we’d be remiss if we didn’t note that Henrik Sedin has a similar rep. To be honest, I’ve always thought that Henrik’s diving reputation was mostly unfair. While the Canucks certainly made a game plan of drawing penalties for a few seasons when their power-play was lights out, the fact remains that few players take more regular abuse than the Sedin twins do. That’s what happens when you always have the puck down low in the opponent’s end.
Even if Hank Sedin’s diving reputation is based more on his foreignness than his actual actions on the ice, as I suspect it is, it’s still a thing. Not that it makes his comments about Mike Smith’s diving any less accurate or hilarious.
Sticktap to Jonatan Lindquist.