Hockey fans today have become quite well acquainted with the Vancouver Canucks’ elite scoring tandem, comprised of identical Swedish twins Daniel and Henrik Sedin. Drafted with back to back selections in 1999 (Daniel was taken 2nd overall, Henrik 3rd), the two have developed into premier players, forming the backbone of the Canucks’ recent success, which has included a Presidents Trophy as well as a Western Conference championship. But which of these two players is better? Is Daniel the better twin? Or is Henrik? Let’s examine:
The case for Henrik:
Henrik Sedin is the set-up man. He doesn’t have as many goals as Daniel, but he always puts his teammates in position to score. He has the most assists of any player in the NHL over the past two years, and has led the Canucks in assists for the past six seasons. He has led the Canucks in scoring three times the past five years, once tying with brother Daniel, and he’s outscored Daniel five times over the course of their careers together in Vancouver. He won the Art Ross Trophy in 2010 as the leading scorer in the NHL with 112 points, and that same year won the Hart Trophy as the NHL’s most valuable player. He has also served as captain of the Canucks from 2010-present. For his career (as of this writing on January 11th, 2012), Henrik has 168 goals, 548 assists, and 716
The case for Daniel:
Daniel Sedin is the goal-scorer. Over the course of his career, he’s led the Canucks in goal scoring three times, tying for the team lead once as well (in the 2010-11 season, both he and Ryan Kesler notched 41 goals). In 2011, he won the Art Ross Trophy as the league’s leading scorer with 104 points. For his career (as of January 11th, 2012), Daniel Sedin has 267 goals, 431 assists, and 698 points.
The case against Henrik:
Quite simply, he’s not the guy who’s finishing plays for his team. He’s sets a lot of them up, but the fact that he’s not the one pulling the trigger could call his confidence and goal-scoring ability into question.
The case against Daniel:
Daniel needs someone to set him up, and it’s usually brother Henrik. Perhaps without Henrik, Daniel wouldn’t have half as many goals as he does now. Also, his durability is slightly in question; he and Henrik clearly aren’t identical twins if Daniel has missed 24 more games in his career than Henrik has.
Though the players are quite evenly matched, when it comes down to what these two players do best, the edge has to go to Henrik Sedin. He’s the one who sets up the Vancouver top line, as well as its power play. There are a lot of goals that wouldn’t have been scored for the Canucks without Henrik setting up the play. He has more personal awards and more career points. His Art Ross Trophy-winning season was better than Daniel’s by eight points. One might even argue that Daniel’s goal scoring success is simply a product of Henrik’s ability to put him in position to score. Again, while both are great players, Henrik is a better set-up man than Daniel is a goal-scorer, so the edge, however slight, goes to Henrik Sedin.
By lead columnist Arun Morace