Sedins approach career crossroads


Despite all the drama elsewhere, the Vancouver Canucks’ success still depends greatly on the Sedin twins’ ability to create offense.

At least, that’s the way it’s been for several years. The question is: how much longer will the facsimile forwards be the identical faces of the Canucks franchise? The 2013-14 season should have an enormous impact on that question, whether it’s Henrik and Daniel Sedin making the decision or the Canucks making that call for them.

The decline?

Both players’ $6.1 million cap hits are set to expire next summer. They’ll turn 33 in September, so it’s crucial for the Canucks to reach a consensus on their long-term value.

There has been plenty of debate during the last few years regarding whether the Sedins remain elite players or not.

Their increasing age implies that a decline is probable, but there’s a compelling counterargument that the Sedins’ cerebral cycling style could help them retain value more successfully than players who rely on sheer athletic ability.

Whether it’s their fault or not, the bottom line is that the duplicate duo’s point totals have stagnated, so the pair likely hopes for a high-scoring 2013-14 campaign.

The Torts effect

The Vancouver Sun’s Daniel Wagner surmises that the Canucks employed an overly complicated powerplay system that didn’t really build the Sedins’ strengths. Tortorella has had his own troubles getting seemingly talented players to score on the man advantage, but perhaps a new voice could revitalize that special teams unit.

Tortorella stated that the Sedins will block shots and kill penalties, but that might be a rarity in the grand scheme of things.

So, all things considered, the pairing’s roles should stay largely the same. The bigger factor might instead be how Tortorella communicates with them, then, as some might wonder how the Sedins will respond to his “demanding” nature. Their relationship with Tortorella is important when you consider the fact that two superstar contracts hang in the balance.


There are a number of variables that can make or break this scenario, but it all likely boils down to how the 2013-14 season plays out.

Personal reasons: No Ovechkin for Caps tonight

Alex Ovechkin
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Alex Ovechkin won’t play for the Washington Capitals on Tuesday because of personal reasons, the team confirmed.

He entered the building considerably later than usual, but his presence at least opened the door for the possibility of No. 8 suiting up against the San Jose Sharks.

Instead, the Capitals will face the hot-starting Sharks without Ovechkin (personal reasons) and Nicklas Backstrom (injury).

That’s a tall order, yet it’s also an opportunity for Barry Trotz to prove his system is a difference-maker … and that the Capitals have the young players to take up the mantle when the big stars are out

This is how Washington’s forward lines may look tonight:

No, the Capitals have not shared details regarding what his “personal reasons” might be, by the way.

Bruins put Morrow on IR, bring up Cross

Brady Skjei, Joe Morrow
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Lower-level defense is not the biggest of many worries for the Boston Bruins, yet it might be another in a series of headaches.’s Joe Haggerty points out that Joe Morrow has been placed on IR while AHL stalwart Tommy Cross was called up.

With a -3 rating and negligible offensive impact so far, few will really be missing Morrow (pictured). From the way Haggerty describes Cross, it’s a pretty cool story if he gets into the lineup:

Cross was named captain of the Providence Bruins this season, and actually had a strong training camp as the hard-hitting, tough stay-at-home defenseman he’s developed into during his five years in the B’s minor league system. The 2007 second round pick was a highly regarded potential puck-moving defenseman when he was drafted prior to his Boston College career, but a series of knee injuries negated some of his speed and puck-moving capabilities.

Granted, the Bruins would prefer a sure-thing improvement over a feel-good story right now, as this 0-3-0 start marks their worst beginning in some time.

Injuries have been an issue in general, too, with Zdeno Chara‘s slow start mixed with Dennis Seidenberg on the mend and Brad Marchand in limbo.

The Bruins’ next game comes against the Avalanche in Colorado. Maybe they’ll start to mend things on the ice?