Henrik Sedin and Alex Burrows combined for a beautiful goal against the Dallas Stars on Thursday evening. As we are all well aware of by now, a lot more goes into a Sedin-generated goal than just a shot on net. Let’s break the goal down frame by frame.
We can’t forget to credit Daniel, either, as he made a great breakout play to get the two-on-one started. To be fair, the Canucks top unit was out against Aaron Rome and Alex Goligoski, and rookie goaltender Cristopher Nilstorp was chasing the puck for most of the evening. But that shouldn’t take anything away from what was a fantastic goal.
The play starts out with Daniel firing a pass up the boards. Aaron Rome (pictured above on the bottom right) tries to step in front of the puck to block it, but it gets past him. If anyone knows anything about playing pucks off the board, it should be Rome. However, his trusty ally lets him down in this case.
Henrik picks up the puck off the boards and carries it into the zone. Burrows goes wide and gets prepared for the pass that everyone knows is coming. Literally every single person on earth knows that Henrik is going to pass this.
Henrik, fooling nobody, fakes a shot on goal from beyond the faceoff circle. He has taken approximately three shots from this range in his entire NHL career. Goligoski is really struggling with his defensive play this season, but even he guesses right. Rome probably recognizes this view from Canuck practices over the years.
Somehow Goligoski misses the pass. At this point, the Dallas players believe Burrows is going to shoot the puck. And why wouldn’t they? Sedin keeps his stick on the ice and continues to go to the net. He and Burrows combined for a similar goal against the Blues the other night. Rome may have been at the end of a shift, and even if he wasn’t, he had a lot of ice to make up. He is headed to the net to clear away a rebound (if necessary).
Burrows slides a beauty pass back to Henrik. Henrik does a great job sliding it in to the open net. Sure, he doesn’t have a goalie to beat, but it was a tough play considering he takes the pass in a bit of an awkward spot. And he had to actually convince himself to shoot the puck, which can’t be an easy task. Rome finally recognizes that maybe he should check somebody.
Nilstorp ends up about five feet outside the net. Daniel with a very "Sedin-like" post-goal reaction. Stoic as ever.
The mic picked up Bieksa asking Burrows, "Oh wow! Where’d you steal that one from?" I’m guessing one or both of his linemates would be the correct answer.
And a crowd shot after the goal featured the rare salmon-coloured alternate jersey that the Canucks wore from 1995-97. Who was number six over that time, you may ask? Adrian Aucoin wore the number six during the 1996-97 season. Aucoin had somewhat of a bizarre career with the Canucks. He scored an impressive 23 goals in 1998-99, but he added only 11 assists. Quite an odd stat line for a defenseman. Oh, and he was the main piece traded to Tampa Bay for Dan Cloutier.
Henrik’s shot fake from up close. Goligoski has a good gap on him here… but that doesn’t account for the fact that Burrows is also involved. He’s somewhere out there, I promise. A better way to play a Sedin/Burrows two-on-one – pull a Jan Bulis and piggyback Burrows the entire time. Henrik still wouldn’t shoot.
Somehow Goligoski lifts his stick just as Henrik passes it across the zone. Nilstorp is rocking the rare all black equipment.
Here is Daniel firing the puck up the ice past Rome. Goligoski is a few seconds away from his "oh, crap" moment.
Again, not a great shot fake. It may have froze Nilstorp a bit as he hasn’t seen the Sedins (in person, at least) before, but he has to know that Henrik is passing this. Although Burrows completely flipped this play on its head by passing back, so even if Nilstorp guessed right he still would have been swimming. Catch 22.
Catch 22 indeed.