Belly of the Whale

Ok Henrik, now’s your chance.

Losing Daniel Sedin for up to six weeks with a broken foot is definitely bad news for the Vancouver Canucks, but could turn out to be a terrific development for his brother Henrik – assuming the twins have money on which one ends his NHL career with more points.

Daniel damaged his foot in a game last week against the Montreal Canadiens. When the siren sounded on that contest, both Sedin boys had registered 466 career NHL points, perhaps the most amazing and creepy stat you could find in the league.

In one game without his brother, Henrik jumped out to a two-point lead with a pair of assists, which must have quashed some fear among Canucks supporters that when you lose one Sedin, you actually lose two.

In addition to allowing Henrik a stranglehold on the family scoring lead, Daniel’s absence also gives the likes of Steve Bernier and Mason Raymond increased opportunity to prove they can be consistent NHL scorers.

Vancouver endured an extended stretch without Roberto Luongo last year and came through stronger on the other side. Let’s see what happens this time.

1 Pittsburgh Penguins 4 Sidney Crosby owns the ice around the lip of the crease
2 Detroit Red Wings 9 Why do I feel like I’ll regret not taking Ville Leino in the office pool?
3 Philadelphia Flyers 1 Mike Richards occupies a niche all his own among NHL’s elite
4 San Jose Sharks 5 Early returns on Joe and Dany: This could be scary
5 Calgary Flames 6 Power play operating at almost 50 percent after five games
6 New York Rangers 17 What a boon it would be if Michael Del Zotto’s play is for real
7 Chicago Blackhawks 7 Opening night festivities prove miserable off-season is a distant memory
8 Columbus Blue Jackets 11 Random thought here, but when was the last time a team’s starter and backup were both lefties?
9 Washington Capitals 3 Have to shore up the back end to truly compete with NHL’s big boys in crunch time
10 Los Angeles Kings 27 Are we finally witnessing Anze Kopitar bust loose?
11 St. Louis Blues 2 Home has been less friendly than Sweden
12 Boston Bruins 8 Haven’t really hit their stride early on
13 Buffalo Sabres 20 Allowed just two regulation-time goals in three games, but have just four themselves
14 Anaheim Ducks 14 What a great pickup James Wisniewski was for this team last March
15 Edmonton Oilers 22 Losing Sheldon Souray to a concussion is a huge blow to Oilers’ power play
16 Ottawa Senators 24 Good start comes despite just one assist through four games for Jason Spezza
17 New Jersey Devils 19 Trip through state of Florida helped cure early ills
18 Nashville Predators 16 Continued production from Patric Hornqvist would help paltry offense
19 Dallas Stars 18 Wonder if Fabian Brunnstrom will just fade into oblivion
20 Vancouver Canucks 13 Last year it was Roberto Luongo, now Canucks must deal with loss of Daniel Sedin for extended period
21 Colorado Avalanche 10 Wojtek on a nice early-season rollski
22 Carolina Hurricanes 26 Would anyone be really surprised if these guys missed the playoffs?
23 Montreal Canadiens 12 Marc-Andre Bergeron era will begin some time during a six-game home stand
24 Tampa Bay Lightning 28 Victor Hedman leads all Tampa ‘D’ with almost 26 minutes of ice per game
25 Phoenix Coyotes 21 Cheap tickets and a bustling building is better than expensive tickets and empty seats
26 Atlanta Thrashers 25 Evander Kane on the board with his first NHL goal
27 Minnesota Wild 23 New systems take a while to take hold
28 Florida Panthers 15 Giving up 40 shots per game through four contests
29 New York Islanders 30 Three games, three extra-time losses
30 Toronto Maple Leafs 29 Feels like the end is near for Vesa Toskala in Toronto
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The Hockey News ranks the teams 1-30 each Monday based on a combination of last week’s play and a squad’s overall outlook.

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