The ABC's of the Canucks game: Daniel Sedin's Thug Life

Dec 19 2017, 5:55 pm

The Flames got a measure of revenge against the Canucks last night by beating the hometown team 3-2 in overtime. Sweet, sweet, three-on-three overtime…

Now, in case you missed the first one, we hand out three awards for the ABC’s. The Ace (best/most exciting player), the Brace (best supporting player/small play), and the always delightful Cross-check to the face (suckiest suck who ever sucked).

So who won what? Let’s dive right in!



Bo Horvat


I almost don’t have to write anything else, do I?

Not only is he spinning and going hard to the net, he makes sure to take his time and snipe home the dirty rebound. He has somehow made a greasy goal look like a highlight reel goal.

Once again, I do have to make the usual Henrik Sedin disclaimer. He made so many small, blink and you missed it, magical passes tonight that you almost want to name the trophy after him and give it to him every night. For example:

Unfortunately the pass was to noted backdoor hater Dan Hamhuis, but still, that’s the kind of pass that when it happens in NHL 16 you complain about how unrealistic the passing is. “Nobody passes that well, come on guys.”

That being said, Bo gets the Ace tonight not only for the goal, but also for the little things:


Here’s Horvat, near the end of his shift, making sure he covers his guy, and clears the puck using whatever means necessary, ie. using his feet like a god damn ninja. Ok, like a soccer player, but ninja sounds more bad ass.

Bo also has weirdly deceptive speed. You’ll see him lugging the puck out of his zone and then before you realize it he’s bearing down on the goalie, and has a guy chasing after him praying to god nobody is recording this and they end up on a TSN “defensive misplays of the week” video package.

For a team that has struggled to have complete players throughout the lineup (the days of Tanner Glass and Victor Oreskovich), it’s nice to see young guys step up and be effective in two zones, instead of just one. Or none in the case of Tanner Glass.



Daniel Sedin

Daniel Sedin is usually known for his scoring, but tonight he stood out for something else. Tonight he stood out for being a bit snarly. He was, as Don Cherry would say, playing like “A GOOD CANADIAN KID.”


And we thought only Luca Sbisa was valued for his scrum work.

Aside from that, Daniel was also feeling a bit cheeky as well.

Daniel pulling a Jarkko Ruutu? Daniel giving a little shove after the play to send a guy flying?? Who is this masked man??

Look, the Sedins have never been feisty players, we all know that. They also played during the height of their careers under Alain Vigneault, a coach who was a big advocate of turning the other cheek and chewing lozenges.

It’s just that as they’ve gotten older, and as the new coaches have come on board, the Sedins have loosened up on their peace accords. The Twins, who have long lived under the negative ideal of “not being tough enough” (Brad Marchand punching bag gif…sigh), have added some sandpaper to their game. They have decided to give a little push back for the thousands upon thousands of cross-checks they’ve received in their lifetime.

Does it make them better players? Probably not, but it’s fun as hell to watch. There’s just something cathartic about Daniel looking like he doesn’t give a ****.



Brandon Sutter

Now, Brandon Sutter had himself a decent game. This award isn’t being given under the guise of piling on with the advanced stats group that is incredibly wary of Sutter. This is not being used to showcase how awful Sutter is, or how he’s a burning bag full of garbage.

It just is what it is. The game went to overtime, Sutter made a nice play to steal the puck, then got his own pocket picked, and before you knew it, it was game over.



It’s too bad for Sutter that he was the biggest image from the loss, but let’s look at this for what it is. Three-on-three OT is a crap shoot right now, as coaches haven’t found a way to choke all the fun out of it yet. Players are still adjusting to playing with only two other guys on the ice with them. A rush one way often leads to a breakaway the other way.

Hell, this is a scenario in which Jason Garrison of all people it blazing down the ice and scoring nice breakaway goals.

If we’re being truthful, Dan Hamhuis could have won this award. He had one of those games where you start to wonder if his controller disconnected from the machine.

It’s not often Dan puts himself out of position by trying to throw a big bodycheck. Even worse, it hits his own teammate.

Dan Hamhuis is getting older, and it’s hard to top the defensive perfection that was his 2010-11 season, but the games in which he looks like he’s lost his sight and is scared that the blue line is trying to eat him, are occurring more frequently.

Bartkowski is another guy who concerns me at times, as he is starting to show slight signs of Ryan Johnson-itis, ie shot blocking without actually caring about the outcome. Sometimes you just want to feel the ice underneath your back, you know?


Full credit for effort, but it’s been several times this season that Bartkowski has chosen to fling himself and pray for the best in situations where it probably didn’t warrant it. It happened in preseason too:

It’s not a huge error on that one, but he does commit to cutting off the pass by laying out, and as a result gets burned pretty good on the play.

Now again, this isn’t some damning indictment of Bartkowski or Hamhuis, it’s just to show that tonight’s loss wasn’t really one person’s fault, it was more of a situation where a bunch of small things added up and contributed to a loss, in what was a very close game.

What I’m saying is, wait until an 9-0 blowout loss, then we can really trash talk the crap out of somebody and give them this award with a big smile on our faces.