Who's this guy?
Why, it's our fearless leader and captain, Henrik Sedin!
Born: September 26, 1980 in Ornskoldsvik, Sweden.
History: The Canucks drafted Sedin with the 3rd overall pick in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft. The previous year, Vancouver went 23-47-12 in one of their worst seasons in franchise history. One miserable year in exchange for 15 years of service and counting has worked out quite nicely for the Canucks however as Henrik and his twin have become the faces of the franchise.
What'd he do?
Sedin, usually a wizard of assists, had a relatively slow year by his standards. His 39 assists were the lowest in a decade if you don't count last year's lockout-shortened season. Even in that season, Sedin was on pace for nearly 60 assists with 34 in 48 games. Sedin averaged roughly 0.55 assists per game. Compare that to his numbers since 2005, and you see this was an off year for him. Sedin tallied 57 assists or more in every full season since 2005, averaging roughly 0.81 assists per game in that span. And while Sedin isn't usually known for his scoring as much as his twin counterpart is, his 11 goals were the third lowest total for a season in his 15-year career. Four of those 11 goals came on the power play. When things started to really go south for the Canucks once the calendar turned to 2014, Sedin struggled as well, going 12 games without registering a point. Vancouver lost nine of those 12 games during Sedin's cold streak. Take that, as well as Vancouver's record in games he missed due to injury (3-8-1), and it becomes clear that when the captain isn't producing (or isn't there at all for that matter), the Canucks struggle as a team.
Was he any good?
Normally, saying Henrik Sedin wasn't any good would be blasphemy. Not this year, however. Sure, when you look at just the Canucks as a team, he still led the way in assists (39) and points (50). But take a look at those numbers again, and you quickly realize it was an off year for Sedin. Since 2005, Sedin has averaged over 67 assists and 82 points per season. Even if he had played all 82 games, Sedin was on pace for 45 assists and 58 points. When your first line center finishes the year with only 50 points, something is wrong there. Some might say, how can you sit there and write that the team leader in assists and points wasn't any good? Well, yeah, he led the team in assists and points. Still doesn't mean he had a good year. Unfortunately, the Canucks were just that bad this year. There's no sugarcoating this one. By his standards, Henrik Sedin wasn't any good this year.
What'd we like?
On November 22 against the Blue Jackets, Sedin had his lone multi-goal game of the year with two goals. Here's the second goal.
In the second game of the season, Henrik Sedin racked up three assists against the Oilers. Here's a nifty one on the power play as the Sedinary was in full force.
Like GoPro videos? Then you'll like this one of Henrik Sedin scoring a one-timer against the Coyotes...while falling down! And finally, we all like a good pre-game ceremony right? Here's Henrik's 1,000th game pre-game ceremony from March 23.
Cool, so what did we hate?
His absences this year certainly hurt the Canucks. Obviously, it's not something the team is used to dealing with. This season, the Canucks lost 9 of the 12 games Sedin was absent from. Would the season have turned out any differently had he played all 82 games? Would the Canucks be in the playoffs right now if he did? Not likely, his numbers were still the worst we've seen out of Henrik in a decade. Something is going to need to change next year, that's for certain. Perhaps missing time due to injuries psyched him out as its not something he's had to deal with much in his career. Here's to hoping his down year was just a fluke.
So what now?
In order for Henrik to get back to his usual self, he'll need to be consistently healthy. While the Canucks were bitten by the injury bug this season, its not often that Henrik is thrown into that problem as well. It could be as simple as playing every game to give Henrik a mental boost and a little kick in the butt to get him back to his usual self. Is age becoming a factor? Sedin, at 33, is likely on the way down from the peak of his career in 2009-10 when he unleashed for 29 goals and 83 assists. It's unlikely we'll ever see another season like that from the captain, but if he can get closer to the range of 15-20 goals and 60-65 points, which is still realistic, that will do wonders for the Canucks. The biggest question is how he will respond next year after his worst season in a decade. Because remember, it's not about how you get knocked down, it's about how you pick yourself up after you're down. Expect to see Henrik come back hungrier than ever to return to top form next year.