Nov 202013
 

The Sedins and Alex Burrows celebrate a goal against the Anaheim Ducks.

Photo credit: canucks.com

Glen Sather once proclaimed that a “fire hydrant could score 50 goals playing with Wayne Gretzky”, alluding to how The Great One made everyone around him better. Many would say the same about the Sedin Twins who seem to boost the stats of any player lucky enough to find themself flanked by the ginger duo. Simply put, these guys are just easy to play with.

That being said, the Canucks recent slump has forced John Tortorella to try different line combinations to spark the dried up offense. In the past week we’ve seen Ryan Kesler, Alex Burrows and Jannik Hansen join the top line to no avail. This isn’t the first time different players have been assigned to the top line, with some combinations lasting years while others dwindle after a few games. Everyone seems to have an idea of what kind of player would complement the Sedins best, but history has shown us it is not always the obvious choice.

Here are the top 5 greatest Sedin line combinations:

5) Daniel Sedin-Henrik Sedin-Taylor Pyatt: This line, featured prominently in the 2006-2007 season, showcased Taylor Pyatt’s size and strength. Pyatt scored 23 goals and 37 points (both career highs) and helped the Canucks cruise to 48 wins and a division title. Here he provides a strong net presence while the Sedins do their thing.

4) Daniel Sedin-Henrik Sedin-Ryan Kesler: The most recently formed line on this list, the “Beastmodo” line is the sexiest on paper but simply has not been together long enough to be placed any higher. Dominant at times, with two accomplished trigger men in Daniel and Kes’, teams have struggled to match the firepower of this first line. Surely, we will see this line together again under the Torts’ regime.

3) Daniel Sedin-Henrik Sedin-Trent Klatt: Not the most offensive linemate the Sedins have ever had, Klatt provided a veteran presence for the twins in the first few years of their professional career. The dominance of the “west coast express” line during this period allowed the Sedins to develop at their own pace and Klatt kept them at an even keel, while providing offence at a steady rate.

2) Daniel Sedin-Henrik Sedin-Anson Carter: This combination only lasted a year but was wildly successful with Anson Carter leading the team with 33 goals. This year marked the coming out of the Sedins as the core offensive players and leaders on the team.  Carter’s ability to crash the net aided the Sedins’ cycling ability well.

1) Daniel Sedin-Henrik Sedin-Alex Burrows: The longest tenured player on the Sedin line and with good reason, Alex Burrows has spent the majority of the last 5 years playing with the twins. A tremendous reader of the game, Alex has gained the instinctual movement and know-how that the Sedins seemed to be born with. Burrows has become one of the more reliable goal-scorers on the Canuck squad and his presence on the top line has elevated the Twins stats as well with the two of them winning back to back Art-Ross trophies with Burrows at their side.

May 062009
 
Apr 242009
 

I’ll admit over the course of the season I’ve been really harsh towards Taylor so I guess now I have to take it easy on him. Pyatt’s back in town and according to the team has resumed his full duties as a Canucks player. Again, my condolences go out to him and to the Bragnalo family, I can only imagine what it’s like for Taylor to have lost his high school sweetheart of 11 years.

That being said, it’s playoff time, we’re right in the thick of things and the question now is “Who/what/where/when/why to do with Pyatt”. Pyatt was at the end of the season finally skating a lot better, he’d managed to get a few points and it looked like he was settling in on the third line and finally clicking with his line mates. Then tragedy struck and off he goes and the bottom lines fill up nicely and form a cohesion that has wowed us all.

If Pyatt comes back and takes up his role on the third line we’re going to see that third line that has been fantastic split up. So is that third line playing so brilliantly because the players are playing well, or because they’ve got some sort of chemistry there? Either way, I’d be hesitant to split up Wellwood, Bernier and Raymond with the way they’ve been playing. They’ve been that energy line that’s been missing since Burrows got his 1st line promotion and Kesler locked up a spot alongside Sundin and Demitra.

Putting Pyatt on the 4th line might work well (even though my boy Hansen then gets the scratch) because with the way Johnson’s been playing with Rypien, the third man seems interchangeable. But is Pyatt really ready?

Here’s my issue, I feel for Pyatt, I really do. However, when you look at the team from a neutral perspective, Pyatt’s coming in as an emotional wreck. We know he’s close to the team, we know his fiance was close to the team, and I don’t want that flood of emotions to be brought into the locker room. We saw how the original shock of the event hit the players and the last thing this team needs is emotional instability to hit the team again. If Pyatt is ready to play (my criticism of him aside) I welcome him back with open arms. But here is a team that is at the top of it’s game. It’s got a new found chemistry that’s more like alchemy the way they’ve been cashing in lately, and I just want to see them do whatever is necessary to go all the way, whether or not that includes Pyatt.

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