It’s true, age is just a number and you’re only as old as you feel! Two cliches we all hear quite a lot. But sometimes we get to see these cliches in their physical form, especially in sport. Whether it be football, basketball, hockey or rugby; there are always the select few who transcend the supposed restrictions of their age and continue being key members of their sport and their respective club. Henrik Sedin is one. The 36 year old Swede has been at the Canucks since he was drafted in ’99. I love that; there’s no better combination than longevity and loyalty to one club.
But it’s not only his loyalty that makes him stand out. He has become a legend in Vancouver; winning 3 Cyrus H. McLean trophies and a Cyclone Taylor award too. In terms of broader recognition in the NHL he won the Hart Memorial Trophy AND the Art Ross Trophy in the 09/10 season. He also became the Canucks’ leading point scorer in 2013. Of course, I can’t possibly talk about Henrik Sedin without mentioning Daniel, his twin brother. The two of them arrived at the Canucks at the same time and have been playing hockey together for many, many years. People have commended how well they play with each other and understand each other on the ice (like when I’m playing NHL17 on the PS4 with my brother!)
Last night in Vancouver, we saw Henrik clinch the 999th point of his illustrious NHL career. Although a quiet game against the Predators, Henrik scored the only goal of a tense game, with 7:32 left to play. He showed great awareness to get to the puck after Sbisa’s shot was saved, and had enough power on the shot to get it into the net and past a scrambling Pekka Rinne. After the game, speaking of the goal he said: “I don’t know what it was really – I just managed to get kind of a backhand”, obviously he wasn’t too pushed to celebrate what is a fantastic achievement.
On Friday he’ll get his chance to make history and collect his 1,000th career NHL point, as the Canucks take on the Panthers in Vancouver. I wouldn’t bet against him reaching the milestone on Friday, although I’m sure it’s not something he will allow himself to focus on. Either way I’ll be watching!
It’s Monday once again! Time to look forward to the week ahead in the NHL. There are some cracking games coming up this week that I am looking forward to; the first one being Canadiens v Capitals in Washington on Monday night. These teams are both in the top 5 teams in the league for me at the moment, and both with similar stats in the table; (25-9-6) and (25-9-5) respectively. Montreal have won each of the 3 games they’ve played this month and they had a big 10-1 win in Colorado in December. I like the look of the Capitals at the moment, of course ending Columbus’ win-streak in Washington last week was quite an achievement for them.
Another game that has spiked my interest is Predators v Canucks in Smashville on Tuesday night. I think both of these teams are struggling to find consistency this season. The Canucks had a poor start to the month in December but found some form heading into January and found themselves on a win-streak. At the start of the season, there was a lot of noise coming out of Nashville. There was big hype surrounding the team, with many people around the league touting them as challengers for the Stanley Cup. The Subban-Weber trade added to this as many felt they now had one of the best D-corps in the league, but it hasn’t happened for them yet. Bo Horvat and Ryan Johansen will be crucial in this one. They each have 29 points for the season and are the creative hinges for their respective teams.
I also want to mention the All-Star game coming up in LA later in the month. A couple of days ago we found out who the 4 captains are: Sidney Crosby, Carey Price, PK Subban and Connor McDavid. There are no real surprises in there for me. The announcement has got me excited for the All-Star weekend in LA, roll on 29th January!
It had to end some time, and it had to end in some way; but I don’t think any hockey fan really expected the scenario that happened in Washington last night. BlueJackets 0-5 Capitals. 5 goals for Washington and a shut out to polish it off, Columbus had no response. Of course, this means that the BlueJackets have fallen short of the Penguins all-time record of 17 wins on the bounce. It’ll be a hard one for them to swallow.
It’s going to hurt every player, coach and fan for sure, but it is important that this does not derail Columbus‘ season. Each hockey team plays in this league not to break records or to make records, they play to get to the Play-Offs and, ultimately, win a Stanley Cup. That is still the aim for this team, no matter what. Yes, it would have been quite the spectacle to see a new record of consecutive wins being made, imagine if they had hit 20 wins in a row! Every CBJ fan would have hoped it could have gone on for longer, and every Pittsburgh fan has breathed a sigh of relief!
The back-end of this week is now vital for Columbus; they need to get back out on the ice and play the way they have been for what seems like such a long time! They need to beat the Rangers and the Flyers at home this weekend. Just to steady the ship and avoid the disappointment of what happened in Washington festering and ultimately derailing the season. I believe they can, and will, do that.
So, to start I’d like to welcome everybody to my spankin’ new blog! The purpose of this page is to go more in-depth about all the games, results and news happening in the NHL. I am going to attempt to blog at least 3 times a week to start, and then hopefully increase that number as I get more comfortable with writing regularly. If you’ve found my blog from my Twitter page; thank you for checking it out and following me. If you’ve found this another way please head over to Twitter and follow me for more of this, if you like what you see!
Alright, let’s talk hockey! Tonight we have an interesting game over in Nashville. It is the return of the Predators‘ former captain Shea Weber to Smashville. I’m sure he will get an excellent reception from the Preds faithful tonight, as he was and probably still is a popular figure among the fans. Unfortunately for Habs fans they will not be seeing PK Subban on the ice tonight as he is out of action for the next couple of weeks with an upper-body injury.
I can’t avoid talking about the hottest team in the competition right now; Columbus BlueJackets. They are on fire at the moment with 15 straight wins. Before the New Year they came out on the right side of a 4-2 result against the Wild who had a game-streak of their own to protect. After winning convincingly that night it’s hard to predict where this run will end. This week they have home games against the Oilers, the Rangers and the Flyers while they will face the Capitals in Washington on Thursday night. I would expect them to win all their home games this week. I think the game in Washington could be a tough game overall and Columbus could be leaving Washington with a defeat. We shall see.