Henrik and Daniel Sedin didn’t see their second-half struggles coming.
But according to the younger brother, the rest of the league did.
That’s the word out of Vancouver as Daniel spoke to The Province’s Gord McIntyre on Wednesday, trying to explain how the Canucks power play operated at 26 percent until January, when it started to struggle and eventually plummeted to 11 percent.
“We became easy to defend,” Daniel said. “Predictable, yeah. We tend to rely on each other a lot.”
Oddly enough, Daniel figures his concussion suffered after the Duncan Keith elbow helped he and his brother snap out of their funk. It meant the twins were apart for 12 games, not unlike the 18 game split two years ago when Daniel broke his foot and Henrik went on to win the Art Ross and Hart Trophies.
“He worked on his game two years ago and you could see the results, he became a different player,” Daniel said. “I think it was good we were apart for a bit and going forward, well, look at Henrik now – when he plays the way he did in the playoffs, he shoots more, he gets to those scoring areas.”
He’s got a point. Upon Daniel’s return in the opening round series against L.A., the Canucks power play — which up to that point had gone 0-for-14 — started clicking, scoring in the final three games of the series, going 3-for-7 overall.
Henrik scored two of the three, not bad considering he only scored eight during the regular season.
Kyle Turris is gearing up for his fifth season with the Ottawa Senators, but this campaign will be a little different.
Ottawa announced that Turris will be joining Chris Neil as one of the team’s alternate captains. Turris is assuming that role from Chris Phillips as the 37-year-old defenseman remains out indefinitely due to a back injury.
Since being acquired from the then Phoenix Coyotes in 2011, Turris has established himself as one of Ottawa’s top forwards. He tied for second in the team’s scoring race last season with 64 points in 82 contests and gelled with rookie linemate Mark Stone.
With the Senators favoring a youth movement, Turris actually stands out as one of the Senators’ more experienced players at the age of 26. He’s also set to play a big role with the Senators for years to come as he’s locked to an affordable $3.5 million annual cap hit through 2017-18.
Meanwhile defenseman Erik Karlsson is getting ready for his second season as the team’s captain.
On the eve of their season opener, the Buffalo Sabres got another bit of bad health news.
Captain Brian Gionta missed practice and is day-to-day with a lower-body injury, per head coach Dan Bylsma. The ailment puts the 36-year-old’s availability for Thursday’s game against Ottawa in jeopardy.
The ailment also puts Gionta alongside a slew of hurting Sabres. Defensemen Zach Bogosian and Josh Gorges were on the injured list when Buffalo’ roster was released this morning, along with rookie Brendan Guhle and veteran Cody McCormick.
There is a bright light for Buffalo, however.
Gorges skated on Wednesday and could possibly dress tomorrow, per Bylsma. If he does play, it’ll likely be on a pairing with Rasmus Ristolainen.