Vancouver Canucks: Sedins shouldn’t be in top-six

VANCOUVER, BC - OCTOBER 7: Henrik Sedin /

With their decline in both speed and skill noticeable, it’s obvious that the Sedin twins don’t fit in the Vancouver Canucks top-six.  It’s time for Travis Green to give them a demotion.

There were very few things to dislike about the Vancouver Canucks win over the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday. Jacob Markstrom looked like Braden Holtby, Bo Horvat scored twice and the defence completely shut down Connor McDavid in a 3-2 Canucks victory.

But because we’re more than just fans, we do have to nitpick some of the few things that didn’t go right. And that would be the plays of Daniel and Henrik Sedin, who were non-factors yet given first-line minutes and ample power play time.

Yes, the Oilers are fast. They skate circles around most teams, but they didn’t make the Sedins look slow. Rather, the 37-year-old twins are naturally not fast skaters at this stage of their respective careers.

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Head coach Travis Green put them on a line with Thomas Vanek. Daniel and Henrik had 14:02 and 13:30 time on ice, respectively.

When all was said and done, the Sedins essentially played third-line minutes. Yet Daniel got six minutes on the power play, Henrik 5:35.

The Brandon SutterMarkus GranlundDerek Dorsett line shut down McDavid’s unit, and all three members posted more time on ice than the Sedins. And it turned out to be an effective move.

So as it turns out, putting on younger, faster and more energetic players did good things for the Canucks. Who could have thought?

The Sedins can still be effective players, nobody is denying that. But today’s NHL is dominated by speed, youth, speed, youth, speed and youth. Daniel and Henrik maintain strong puck possession skills, but they can’t be counted upon to go up against another team’s first or second line.

Green knew when it was time to mix up the lines, and it paid dividends. It’s quite clear at this point that Bo Horvat should front the first line, and it’s probably a matter of when (not if), Green realizes it.

Of course, we can’t be too excited about Sutter’s line after just one game. But considering he’s the team’s top defensive forward and comes with 20-goal potential, he, Granlund and any other right winger (Jake Virtanen, Thomas Vanek, Loui Eriksson), make sense as the second line.

It was only one game, yes. But the Sedins have gradually gotten older (duh), slower (duh), and less productive over the past three seasons. Green was able to realize in Game 1 that it was time to cut back on their ice time. And look what happened.

The Sedins have always been willing to play whatever role the coach thinks is best for them. At this stage of their career, they’re ideal third-liners. They’ll score some goals, can kill time with their puck movement skills and can grind away for pucks in the boards. That is just fine.

Next: 3 takeaways from win over Oilers

But as first or second liners? The Canucks have two lines that are faster and probably more productive. So from here on out, the Sedins should be on the third line. It’s time to let the younger and better players round out the top six units.