Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Posted by Harrison Mooney
As if it wasn't already perfectly clear that Daniel Sedin is using rage and envy over Henrik's career year last season to propel himself to an Art Ross and Hart trophy this season, we got further proof, Tuesday, when Daniel's wife gave birth to their third child.
That's one more child than sired by the Henrik Sedins, which means Daniel's competitive rage is so all-consuming, he's committed himself to outscoring Henrik both on and off the ice. This is now a literal blood feud.
And, if it weren't already apparent that Daniel is dead set on matching his brother's total Harts and Art Rosses solely out of spite, he'll be back in the lineup tonight when the Canucks face the Red Wings. Seriously, he shook his daughter's hand, kissed his wife goodbye, and caught the red-eye to Michigan. Considering Detroit and Vancouver are resting guys on a whim (Mikael Samuelsson's out with "the sniffles", and Pavel Datsyuk's missing the game with "ennui"), you've got to believe Daniel is determined to play. Why might that be?
Well, do you remember what happened last year when Daniel missed a few games?
During those five weeks, Henrik turned into Supergretzky, tallying 16 hat tricks and 2900 points. By the time Daniel returned, a statue of Henrik was under construction outside GM Place and Robson Street had been renamed Henrik & Only Henrik Boulevard. Daniel was like, "I'm back, everyone!" And everyone was like, "Oh hi, Henrik. I thought you went home for the day."
Clearly, Daniel Sedin is now petrified to let his brother play a game without him, and it's an understandable anxiety. When he misses time, people forget he exists and, after all the work he's put in to match Henrik's accomplishments this year, that would be a devastating blow. He's got a seven-point lead on Henrik in the scoring race, likely insurmountable because they tend to share the ice. But, if Daniel lets up for even a second, Henrik is free to gain ground, just like when when he briefly turned around in the womb, and Henrik darted past him towards the light.
You know Henrik's trying to put a stop to this revenge strategy. Remember that empty-netter from his own side of center the other night? That's out of character for Henrik--unless he's trying to gain ground in the scoring race. That goal was unassisted, except by sibling rivalry.
Daniel has to play tonight to protect everything he's worked for all season. If it slips away from him now, well, it would kill him. Not literally, of course. Daniel couldn't bring himself to do that, especially considering how many points his brother would score without him.