Let me throw a crazy idea at you and see if it sticks: assuming Daniel Sedin is ready to go for the playoffs, what do you think of putting the twins on separate lines?
I know this sounds like something a mouth-breathing TEAM 1040 caller would suggest, but let's at least entertain the idea for a second:
- Before Daniel got hurt, him and Henrik were in their biggest slump in years. Henrik has changed his game since and gone on a tear. He can produce with whoever he plays with.
- It completely messes with the other team's match-up game. Part of the Sedins' drop in production this year can likely be attributed to other teams learning how to check them more effectively.
- It spreads the offensive production around. Whoever plays with Henrik will produce (proof: Raymond, Lapierre and Burrows all busting slumps over the past 7 games on Hank's wing).
- Reunite them on the PowerPlay, when the other team's 4th line is caught on an icing or when they're pressing for a goal. It may help jumpstart the ailing PP if the twins are looking forward to playing with one another.
- Just consider this lineup: Lapierre/Raymond - Henrik - Burrows, Daniel - Kesler - Booth, Higgins - Pahlsson - Hansen, Lapierre/Raymond - Malhotra - Ebbett/Kassian/Weise/Bitz.
I know, you probably shouldn't split up the most productive line in hockey over the past several seasons when you need them the most. I'm not suggesting AV do this for the entire playoffs, just when it makes sense against certain opponents. It's hard to ignore how good Hank has been the past 7 games, and how terrifying a 2nd line with Daniel and Kesler would look.
OK, if you're still with me, let's get to some links.
Vancouver Canucks News & Notes
It was Lou's 33rd birthday yesterday, and j.Bowman wondered how he would be treated if he was on a different team. | LoB
While the city is divided over their loyalty to each of the Canucks' two fantastic goalies, Luongo continues to mess with us on Twitter. | PITB
Harrison Mooney takes a look the early returns on the Hodgson/Kassian trade. Unsurprisingly, Cody has produced more than Zack, but his other numbers give a good indication of why Gillis traded him. "Since arriving in Buffalo 18 games ago, Hodgson has been on the ice for 15 Buffalo goals. However, he's been on the ice for 18 of the Sabres' 44 goals against. That's 41% of them." | PITB
For some insane reason, Cam Charron has decided to go back and look at the Canucks' 2008 season, when they collapsed down the stretch and missed the playoffs. | CanucksArmy
NHL News & Notes
The Kings and Sharks have two epic games coming up to finish off the season. These two games will determine who finishes 3rd, who finished 8th, and who — between them and Dallas — just misses out on going to the dance. It's basically a two-part version of baseball's wildcard game. | PD
SI believes Mike Milbury's act is obsolete. Couldn't agree more. I've been waiting for an article like this since his rant about the Penguins on Monday. This line sums it up best: "Milbury is way out of step with where this game has to go." | SI
Mike Keenan has some pretty interesting things to say about the Calgary Flames organization and the direction they're heading. He drops a few tidbits on certain players and talks about what Darryl Sutter said to him when he was fired. | Sportsnet