With a convincing 4-1 win over the upstart Phoenix Coyotes, the Vancouver Canucks moved closer to accomplishing something they’ve never done before – having a major trophy winner.
However coveted the Art Ross trophy (player to amass the most points in NHL in one season) may be, one of the contenders is downplaying it’s importance. “I really think the franchise is looking for and screaming for the Stanley Cup. So I really don’t think individual awards mean too much compared to the other”, said Henrik Sedin to the media throng after practice Monday.
Following Tuesdays action, Henrik (104 pts) has a 3 point lead on Washingtons Alex Ovechkin (101 pts), both with 6 games remaining. Ovechkin recorded an assist as the Capitals lost in overtime to the Ottawa Senators. Henrik scored his 29th of the season and added an assist for each of his linemates’ goals, for 3 points in total.
“Right now, I don’t want to think about it and I’m not thinking about it,” said the modest Ornskoldsvik center. “I mean, I know if I play good enough, I’m going to get points and then how far that goes, that’s up to other guys, too. I think you still have to look back at the season and be proud of what you’ve done. Even if I’m still at 101 points after the next seven games, I think this town and this team are looking for another trophy.”
Most hockey pundits will quickly point out that with a half dozen regular season games remaining, anything is possible – especially as it relates to Alex Ovechkin. During the loss to the Senators, A.O. played nearly 29 minutes, and is being given every opportunity to succeed. In contrast, though the game didn’t go to the extra 5 minute session, Henrik played only 21:33. His season average per game is only 19:30 per game, whereas Ovechkin racks up 21:48 on average.
Of the remaining schedules, it’s difficult to say who has the tougher schedule. Vancouver has back to back games on Thursday and Friday versus the L.A. Kings and the Anaheim Ducks respectively. The Capitals next two opponents are the Atlanta Thrashers and the Columbus Blue Jackets, but also have back to back games coming up against Boston and Pittsburgh.
At the end of the day, personal accolades are on the line, but there is a much larger picture Henrik Sedin and the Canucks are focusing on. While it would be nice for the team to boast the league’s leading point producer, it would be tough to find solace in that were they to bow out in the first round of the playoffs.
However the scenario plays out, Canucks fans have been treated to something special this season. The beauty of it all is that both Daniel and Henrik have been signed to long term contracts. They love playing here, and have made magic both on and off the ice… And some some rewards just can’t be set inside of trophy cases.