Skip to content

Sedin admits plan to contribute more defensively may have backfired

Apr 10, 2014, 12:54 PM EDT

sedinsgetty Getty Images

Henrik Sedin and Daniel Sedin wanted to become more than the players that each won an Art Ross Trophy as the NHL’s leading scorers.

They wanted to be trusted in all situations, not just offensive ones.

They wanted to contribute defensively, especially when they were having trouble scoring.

And John Tortorella was only too happy to oblige when he became Vancouver’s new coach.

Well, the plan — noble as it may have been — didn’t work. The Canucks are going to miss the playoffs for the first time since 2008. And with their seasons almost done, each of the twins remains below the 50-point mark.

“We wanted to become more two-way players where you can rely on us playing in our end and being good for our D-men,” Henrik explained, per The Province. “We wanted it to be so everyone can trust us in our end.

“We may have had a tough time combining the two.”

Under Tortorella, the Sedins still started a large portion of their shifts in the offensive zone, and they only averaged around a minute per game on the penalty kill.

But during their scoring-title years under Alain Vigneault, they started a massively large portion of their shifts in the offensive zone, and they barely spent any time on the PK. It was forwards like Ryan Kesler and Manny Malhotra who were given the tough defensive responsibilities, and the Canucks enjoyed a great deal of success when they were deployed like that.

If Tortorella is fired, as many expect he will be shortly, expect player deployment to be a major question facing the new coach.

Related: If the Sedins get hurt blocking shots, ‘so be it,’ says Torts

  1. ironyisadeadscene - Apr 10, 2014 at 1:11 PM

    You sir….are no Jonathon Toews or Patrice Bergeron

    • micasa81 - Apr 10, 2014 at 1:31 PM

      No they aren’t, but that doesn’t mean they’re crap defensively. When they’re being used properly, they are puck-possession players par excellence, and that type of game just could not work if they were Ovechkin-esque in their own end. Anyone who watches them with any regularity knows that they can parlay the briefest, most tenuous puck possession in the defensive end into a quality scoring chance in the offensive end. If that’s not good defensive hockey, I don’t know what is. That’s why, to me, this sounds less like an admission of trying to do too much, and more of trying not to lay blame at the coach’s feet for not letting them play their bread-and-butter game.

      Yeah, they’re older, and it’s unfair to expect that they’ll dominate puck possession to the extent they did in 2010-2011, but their proclaimed decline has been made to look far more dramatic this year due to trying to play like the aforementioned Selke winners.

    • pirovash88 - Apr 10, 2014 at 1:55 PM

      Or Anze Kopitar.

      • 11111111111a22 - Apr 10, 2014 at 2:25 PM

        Leaving Datsyuk out of a defensive forward conversation is like leaving alcohol out of beer. You just shouldn’t do it.

      • kaptaanamerica - Apr 10, 2014 at 3:29 PM

        these peeps don’t know any better for some reason they forget Datsyk is > than them all.

    • salmon90 - Apr 10, 2014 at 5:21 PM

      Sedins will never be in the same class defensively as Toews or Bergeron just like Toews and Bergeron will never be in the same class offensively as the Sedins were in their prime.

  2. hammerhead5573 - Apr 10, 2014 at 1:22 PM

    Man that just stinks being asked to play both ends of the ice. This just keeps getting better and better up there. No wonder they are eliminated!

    • kitshky - Apr 10, 2014 at 2:40 PM

      You’re an idiot.

      The best way to keep the puck out of your own net is to keep it on your stick, and over the past decade they’ve been amongst the very best puck possession players in the game.

      They’ve also been very defensively responsible when called upon.

      What backfired is trying to completely change the style of play that made them MVP caliber players. Of course they’re going to say things like this, it’s what they do. They also said it was the players fault that Gillis got canned.

      They’re all class, unlike you.

    • kaptaanamerica - Apr 10, 2014 at 3:30 PM

      @hammerhead does your username reflect what happened to your head? did you take a hammer? your comment seems to imply as much..

      • hammerhead5573 - Apr 10, 2014 at 4:13 PM

        Oh boy I made Kaptainamerica upset, I don’t know what to do with myself. Oh and by the way, how original of you with your comments. Aren’t you the one who continuously talks about classless players such as Toews, yet you pull for one of the most classless teams in hockey? You certainly are a piece of work. Question for you, who said this after getting spanked in the playoffs a few years back? “I know we were the better team”. No it wasn’t the team that won, it was Bobby Lou after being eliminated. If that isn’t class what is? As far as this thread, any and all players should be expected to play both ends of the ice. Those who feel the combo of the 2 may not be best are destined to fail year in and year out, but you already knew that.

  3. hosewater2 - Apr 10, 2014 at 1:31 PM

    They are positionally sound on defense, much more responsible than say Ovechkin, but I don’t think it was smart to use them on the PK.

  4. ibieiniid - Apr 10, 2014 at 2:42 PM

    anybody else find it weird that they make decisions about their style of play together? i feel like one of them shoulda dipped his toes in at first just to test the waters before changing the style of play of your two offensive powerhouses in the same season. nobody should have been OK with that happening.

    • pigeonbutt - Apr 10, 2014 at 3:06 PM

      Uh no, genetic clones who’ve played their entires lives together deciding to play similar styles isn’t weird.
      Their entire game is based on smart puck possession and short passes to each other. Even their PK works like that.
      One retaining the passing game and the other suddenly deciding to be a board grinder/stay at home shot blocker/whatever makes zero sense at all.

  5. ibieiniid - Apr 10, 2014 at 2:52 PM

    bets on how many wisecracks over that article title?

    • ibieiniid - Apr 10, 2014 at 2:53 PM

      (went on the wrong article)

      • kaptaanamerica - Apr 10, 2014 at 3:31 PM

        maybe all your comments are on the wrong article??

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. P. Kane (1724)
  2. P. Kessel (1487)
  3. M. Richards (1250)
  4. P. Datsyuk (1084)
  5. N. Backstrom (1061)