Every year, every NHL team has to deal with some form of adversity, be it an injury, a struggling superstar or just an overall lack of chemistry.
It’s the ones who play through and overcome these tough times that rise to the top and separate themselves from the write-off seasons that plague certain others. The best teams in the league, the ones who challenge for the Cup and the ones who end up winning it, always rebound and recover from such setbacks.
Last year, the Penguins had to deal with a great struggle in the first half that led to the firing of their coach. Not only that, but their top defenceman, Sergei Gonchar, was limited to 25 games due to injury. In the end, it was that group drinking champagne out of the silver chalice.
So if the Vancouver Canucks are the Stanley Cup contender they are presumed to be, they won’t let the injury to Daniel Sedin set them back enough to derail those aspirations.
With Pavol Demitra still out recovering from off-season shoulder surgery, an even greater load of offence is expected to generate off the stick of Henrik Sedin. Last week in this column it was noted the secondary scoring needed to assert itself — now that it has, concern has to shift back to the top line.
The Canucks aren’t used to playing without either Sedin brother; over the past three seasons the two Swedes combined to miss just a single game. Now, Henrik will have to leave the comfort of playing alongside his brother for the next month-and-a-half and become familiar with new linemates who, so far, seem to be Alex Burrows and Steve Bernier.
Ever since the two brothers were picked back-to-back in the 1999 draft, there has been a tedious debate as to which was the better player. And ever since Henrik was picked one slot below his brother, it has been Daniel who has been given the edge because of his goal scoring ability.
Now, if Henrik can keep the team rolling and keep contributing to putting W’s on the board, he has the opportunity to gain support for his side of the argument.
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