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AN unforeseen happening is concerning many Vancouver Canucks fans these days – the Sedin magic has disappeared.
Daniel Sedin has just two goals in his last 10 games. Henrik has but just two assists over that same span and hasn't collected a point in eight straight games, a futility streak he hasn't experienced since he was a rookie in 2000-2001.
Those are definitely not numbers Canucks fans have come to expect from their NHL scoring champions. So should Canucks fans be concerned?
Henrik says not at all. Daniel has an identical story.
Coach Alain Vigneault is starting to show concern, as evidenced by the breaking up of the brothers in Saturday's game against Montreal. His main concern is that gone with the magic is the Canucks main weapon – their power play proficiency.
Vancouver is a hockey-crazed market. And leading up to the next game against Phoenix Wednesday, the Sedins' lack of production is all the fans will be talking about.
Ironically, it's this break from Saturday to tomorrow that might be the key to rejuvenating the Sedins. Vigneault announced a two-day complete break from the ice for the whole team. The Canucks have had a really tough stretch as of late. At one point they played 7 games in 10 days.
On top of that, do not forget the Canucks played over 100 games last season. Factor in the short summer break, the pre-season and the league's worst travel schedule, and these guys can be forgiven for having their first notable slump. They seem to lack that little extra jump in their cycle game right now. Their only real play lately has been to throw it back to the point. Maybe they just need a break.
We can dissect their play and how defenses play against them. We can over-analyze how the referees are calling the games as of late. But ultimately everyone needs the best players to be the best players come the playoffs. It will be fascinating to watch how Coach Vigneault balances the need for the Sedins to rest versus the need to get them back on pace before the playoffs.
So the answer to the question of whether we should be worried about the Sedins' sudden lack of offense is yes, of course. Just remember that they still are the two highest scoring players in the tough Western Conference.
It's coming into spring break, so here are a couple school-related Canucks Slap Shots for you this week.
Canucks Academics: The Canucks have 9 players who went to college rather than junior hockey. Cory Schneider studied finance at Boston University. Byron Bitz has a business degree from Cornell. David Booth earned a management degree from Michigan State, but originally studied dentistry. Chris Higgins went to Yale. Ryan Kesler went to Ohio State. Kevin Bieksa has a finance degree from Bowling Green. But don't think the team talks about philosophy and world affairs on those long plane trips. "There are still a couple of dummies in this room. Not everyone is interesting," says Bieksa.
Did You Know: Trevor Linden passed on a full load scholarship to Ivy League Princeton University. He opted to stay home and play for his hometown Medicine Hat Tigers of the Western Hockey League. He has no regrets. He grew up dreaming of playing for the Tigers, and he led them to consecutive Memorial Cup championships, the first in franchise history. And don't forget about a World Junior Championship in 1988. Linden was then selected second overall in 1988, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Did You Know, Part II: Kitimat's Mark Fitzpatrick and Terrace's Dale Kushner were teammates of Linden in Medicine Hat.