Secondary Scoring: Cutting Slack for the Sedins

A day after Henrik Sedin admitted that their effort against the Florida Panthers “wasn’t good enough”, the Tampa Bay Lightning were able to hold the Sedin line to a single point, and a combined minus-four rating.  Not to worry, the Vancouver Canucks are getting contributions from secondary sources.

"Backup" goaltender Cory Schneider stops Steve Stamkos (NHL scoring leader) to seal the shootout win [photo courtesy of AP Photo

Three games through a four-game road trip, the Canucks have two wins, thanks in large part to scoring from sources other than the Sedins and Alex Burrows.  Players such as Manny Malhotra, Mason Raymond, Mike Duco, and Cody Hodgsonhave been finding the back of the net.  One could hardly call the road trip a piece of art, but ask any coach or NHL player, and they’ll tell you that the two points in the standings are what count the most.

Head coach Alain Vigneault was quick to point out that for Tampa Bay, their top players were just that, helping force an overtime and shootout session.  “I don’t doubt that our guys’ willingness was there,” he replied when asked about his top players.  “No excuses on the schedule, but it was our third game in four nights and we have been playing a lot of hockey lately.  I think you have to give their top players a lot of credit.  Their top players tonight… put on a great show and that’s why they’re elite players.”

Daniel Sedin, held pointless for consecutive games for the first time since Oct. 26, was asked about the leadership shown by Tampa Bays’ star players.

That’s our job.  We go into every game trying to help our team and tonight we weren’t good enough.  We’ll be better.  You go through games where the puck isn’t bouncing the way you want.  We feel good out there, it’s just getting to the net and getting those [quality] shots.  Right now we’re on the outside and that doesn’t work.

 

Daniel and Henrik Sedin congratulate Alex Edler on his first period goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning (photo thanks to AP Photo)

Daniel currently sits fourth in the NHL for points with 47 points in 43 games.  Henrik remains the NHL leader with 50 points in 44 games.  They have split the last two scoring titles.  Henrik, the Canucks’ captain, spoke to the current road trip.

I thought Boston, we were both good and bad.  In Florida we weren’t good enough.  Tonight [versus Tampa Bay] we were OK, but we weren’t great.  If it’s the playoffs and it’s a long series, you know it’s about scoring  and if the other teams’ top guys are doing it and you’re not, that’s a problem.  But in a game like this, it’s not a big deal.

Realistically speaking, there are only a handful of players in the league that can speak that way.  Considering that the last two Hart Trophy recipients uttered them, I’ll take their word on it.

Next up:  The new and improved St. Louis Blues with Ken Hitchcock behind the pine.  Blues have won four straight, and are 17-3-2 on home ice.  Jaroslav Halak is expected to get the start, coming off a 3-0 shutout of the Montreal Canadiens. Should be a dandy…

Tags: Alex Burrows Cody Hodgson Daniel Sedin Florida Panthers Henrik Sedin Jaroslav Halak Ken Hitchcock Manny Malhotra Mason Raymond Mike Duco Montreal Canadiens Ryan Kesler St. Louis Blues Tampa Bay Lightning

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