Henrik Sedin opens up about injuries that slowed him through season

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Photo Credit: Kanny Karst/USA TODAY Sports

Long after the final buzzer on Saturday night and after waves
of questions about the game, the many disappointments of the past six months and
the outlook for the future, Canucks captain Henrik Sedin was pressed on the
injuries that so obviously slowed him over the second half of the just
completed season. While refusing to get into specifics about the nature of the
injury – or injuries — Sedin was willing to discuss how the various maladies slowed
not only himself, but his brother and as a result the entire team over the final
40 games.

“The stretch
from when it happened before Christmas up until the All Star break, it wasn’t
great,” Henrik says about the limitations on his 35-year-old body. “It wasn’t
one hundred percent. I tried to play through it as best as I could. I think it
made Daniel’s spot maybe a little bit worse, too, during the stretch because
when one of us is not playing up to his potential it’s going to make it tough
on the other one too.”

Henrik’s
injury problems began in mid-December when he left a game in Philadelphia after
playing just nine shifts and 5:08. He sat out the next two games in Detroit and
Florida before returning to the line-up in Tampa Bay on December 22nd.
The surest sign that things weren’t well came in a bizarre Boxing Day game
against Edmonton when, although he played 20:11 and picked up an assist, Henrik
could not sit on the Canucks bench between shifts and stood awkwardly the
entire game in an effort to ease his obvious discomfort.

While
he remained in the line-up, Henrik managed to produce just two points in the
six games after Christmas and clearly wasn’t himself. On January 17th,
he was once again forced out of the Canucks line-up after being on the receiving
end of a dangerous looking hit from Mikhail Grabovski early in a game against
the New York Islanders at Barclays Center. That forced Henrik to miss four more
games and he remained out of action for the remainder of the month.

 While he
tried to provide the leadership expected of a captain, Henrik had little to
offer the Canucks in his return to the line-up for the stretch drive. Without
the ability to battle or compete at the level needed to perform at his best, Sedin
couldn’t do much to pull the Canucks out of an early February tailspin which
sealed the team’s fate. Even with their top set-up man in the line-up, the
Canucks managed just two wins in the first eight games out of the All-Star
break.

“We go through tough spots
throughout the years and we try to play through them and for the most part we
can,” he said. “That injury, I was able to skate no problem, but getting into
battles and face-offs weren’t great through that part either. There was a
stretch where I wasn’t a hundred percent, but you’re not going to be a hundred
percent every game.”

Henrik missed two more games in
early March after taking a hard hit from Brent Burns early in a March 5th
game in San Jose.  In all, Sedin missed
eight games on the season and was forced out of three others. He finished the
year with a modest  11 goals and 55
points in the 74 games he played (9+28=37 in 44 games before the All-Star break and 2+16=18 over the final 30 contests). While there were still flashes of the brilliance
that made Henrik one of the best playmakers in the league over the past decade,
there were too many lengthy stretches where he simply had no impact on games.

As he spoke about his injuries,
Henrik admitted his offensive struggles in the final month of the season had
less to do with physical limitations and far more to do with the mental baggage
that comes with a season spiraling out of control.

“After the All-Star break those
injuries have not been in a problem,” he insisted. “We tried to hang on to a
playoff spot and tried to be in the fight for a long time, but when that didn’t
happen it was more of an emotional thing. The last 10 or 15 games have been
tough and you can look at our point production and it’s not where it should be.
It’s tough to get up for games and do all the things 110% when the playoffs
aren’t in the picture.”

Henrik confessed that with
nothing to play for over the final month and with a body that had taken a
pounding throughout the season, it was difficult to lay it all on the line in
games that meant absolutely nothing in the standings. While he wanted to set
the best example possible for the youth movement the Canucks are fostering, he
had trouble convincing himself at times to get to the high-traffic areas of the
ice. As a result, Henrik spent much of the final month of the season as a perimeter
player – and it showed.

 “We take pride in preparing the right way for
every game — that hasn’t been the problem,” he said. “But when you get into
those scoring areas, if you don’t put 110% effort there, it’s tough to score in
this league and I think that’s been a problem for us down the stretch.”

The only upside to a long off-season
for the Vancouver Canucks is that players have ample time to heal their wounds.
Bumps and bruises will eventually go away. What remains to be seen is what sort
of mental scars a disastrous season like this one has left on the hockey club.

  • Hockey Warrior

    Hey you guys know the canucks played last night right? No pre game? No post game? Canucks army has been playing like the canucks this season; very poorly.

  • Buula

    Good article, quite candid by Hank. I’m probably one of the few Flames fans who appreciates how good the Sedins have been over the years. But you can sense in his words that the desire and effort it takes for 82 games is probably starting to wane at age 35. I don’t think that we as fans fully appreciate how truly beat up these guys get over the season, physically and mentally.

  • Buula

    Looking forward to all the draft articles and season review on each player. Next years lines are going to be very different.

    I’ll go over to hockey buzz to read their game recap.

    Best case we pick 1st , worst case 6th ?

    Have a good summer everyone

  • Buula

    Henrik is a warrior who’s never gotten his due. That he’s still producing at his level, despite the abuse he takes, physical and verbal fro
    ignorant Neanderthals on and off the ice, is amazing.

    I pray that the Canucks are able to rebuild quickly enough that the Canucks are able to make another playoff run with the Sedins, even if in a depth role.

    Let’s see what the draft lottery brings

  • Hockey Warrior

    Appreciate the fantastic servants these two class acts have been to the franchise and the community but the writing is on the wall after this horrendous season folks – the Sedins MUST be put out as second line players now including the PP, as their endless cycling on the perimeter play is outdated and way too easy for the opposition to nullify.

    A physical first line and 1at PP unit is the answer, with a powerhouse center (like Stamkos) and big bodies (like Lucic) willing to crash the net in order to score… sadly, this is the future of todays NHL and i;m afraid the aging Sedins are not a future part of it…

    In summation this is the biggest off season in many years for a jinxed and humbled franchise… i just hope people don’t wreck downtown ‘again’ between the draft AND training camp eh 😉

    • Hockey Warrior

      Quality free agents want to join a winner, and the Nucks aren’t close to being in that category. “Hey, why don’t you sign with us instead of the Kings/Hawks/Lightning/Rangers etc and you can get coached by the legend Willie D and possibly take shifts on the 2nd line with Dorsett aka Squirt.”

      • Hockey Warrior

        Valid points but most contenders don’t have the cap room.

        Canucks have a lot of potential. Who knows if it’ll turn into actual NHL talent. That may entice some decent free agents.

  • Hockey Warrior

    The Sedins will retire as canucks then eventually go to the hall of fame, deservedly so. And I am a proponent of tough hockey, with big crashing wingers like the kings. The thing I know is the kings have an ex nhl vet named Sutter who knows how to get his players to give it there all.

    Henrik should have been shut down imho and he earned the right to heal up earlier.Desjardins is the guy who sends the twins out automatically on the pp each time and it is time to re evaluate this no doubt.
    For the record is Stamkos not a right winger? I doubt he would sign here anyways, most likely Toronto gets him? Lucic probably stays with the kings especially if they have a deep run or win a cup again,although either of these 2 I agree would make us a lot better skill/toughness wise

    • Hockey Warrior

      Agree. It makes no sense why they wouldn’t give Henrik a 10 game recovery break, when the pros clearly outweigh the cons.

      With the state the team is in right now I think it is a waste to have their talent on it. Please Hockey or Viking gods, work out some deal that sees them go to a contender as a 2nd line where they play for a few more seasons and make a good playoff run.

      • Brent

        “Agree. It makes no sense why they wouldn’t give Henrik a 10 game recovery break, when the pros clearly outweigh the cons.”

        I suspect Henrik refused to take a break. Guy is totally competitive. Look at what he has played through.

  • dharcniss

    The Sedins minutes do need to be managed going forward. Producing almost 30 goals playing with an injured Hank and Hanson is pretty impressive. The future is not too far away…

    1. If Burrows is bought out, the cap situation is very very good. The Canucks could get a winger to play with the Sedins. While I’m appreciative of Hansons 22 goals, a true scoring winger could pot 35-40.

    2. Young middle six forwards are everywhere. Many first round acquisitions, Bo, Jake, Sven, Emmerson, Jared add in Grandlund….

    3. D surprises like Hutton and Tryamkin

    4. Goalie situation is solid, in fact very good goaltending almost cost the Canucks a top pick. Next year Miller and Mark continue to split duty and Demko makes AHL debut. Going forward Mark and Dem… Millers 6 mil drops off after next year, so the Canucks will be FA players the next two off seasons.

    5. Injured Players Sutter and Edler come back. While healthy Sutter was a legit 2nd line center. Horvat slides back to 3rd line and Faceoff win % goes way up. Between Edler and Hammer, the Canucks top 4 D rarely played together. The injuries tested both Hutton and Bo and they both passed with flying colors.

    6. Being bad in a good draft year. If the hockey gods smile on the Canucks they will be fortunate to draft in the top 3 and get a real difference maker.

    In the NBA, the Spurs were bad for one year because of injuries, then we’re lucky to draft Tim Duncan. If the Canucks win the lottery, they will make the playoffs next year and continue to roll up the standings. What FA…l Stamkos, would look at a solid group of young forwards, a top 3 pick and a goaltending succession and sign up.

    One dark year, but the future is bright for the Canucks.

  • Brent

    Does anyone actually know how the lottery works? I mean by finishing 3rd last in the entire nhl, what is the worst pick we can receive and why? How many times does the simulator run to decide this?

    • dharcniss

      Further detail to add.

      The system is a lottery only for the first 3 spots. Once those positions are drawn, all the remaining teams go in strict order of finish, so if 3 teams from above us ‘win’ top 3 picks, we are bumped to 6th place.

      So the worst-case scenario would be this:

      1) Winner #1
      2) Winner #2
      3) Winner #3
      4) Toronto (this is as high as they can possibly pick)
      5) Edmonton
      6) Us

  • dharcniss

    Woe Canada, our home and native Land
    No playoffs for us, and this we cannot Stand,
    With glowing hearts, we see thee rise,
    The true North strong and Free.
    If one of us had made the playoffs,
    We’d probably go out in Three,
    God keep our land, glorious and Free,
    Woe, Canada, may next year be better for Thee.

  • dharcniss

    Thanks dharcniss. As for you cruiser wannabe I do not march to an alternative lifestyle, u are free to be but pls do see as your username and not mine

    Its going to be most interesting on april 30. As bad luck as this city has had,the oilers have had the greatest luck and therefore I am rxcited we should be picking 3rd overall?

  • dharcniss

    HOW DARE YOU GUYS ASK FOR POST GAME THREADS

    THESE ARTICLES ARE FREE YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO COMPLAIN

    THEY CAN WRITE GARBAGE ARTICLES WITH ZERO CONTENT AND YOU GUYS CAN’T COMPLAIN ABOUT IT BECAUSE IT’S FREE

    WOW GUYS

  • dharcniss

    Foghorn I see you are anything but a Willy and Dorsett fan? Then it seems funny you do not agree with my postings as they are essentially the same as yours.

    BTW I guess that comment about your marching to a different lifestyle under your own username really pushed some buttons cruiser27 wannabe! Good you are the troll!