BOSTON – The twins sat there in their matching outfits, unable to do much of anything for the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday night in Game 4 of the Stanley Cup final.
Henrik and Daniel Sedin might as well have been the Green Men.
After taking turns winning the NHL’s scoring title over the past two seasons, the Sedins are coming up empty in the final against the Boston Bruins. They have combined for just two points in the first four games—a big reason why the Canucks are heading back to Vancouver with the series tied 2-2.
“They’re fired up. They’re playing for the Stanley Cup,” Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said after Boston won 4-0 in Game 4 on Wednesday night. “They spent a lot of time in the other team’s end with no results to show. But it’s not for lack of effort. You’ve got to give that other team credit. They are playing a smart game. They’ve been able to shut us down offensively for two games.”
Henrik Sedin won the Hart Trophy as the league’s MVP last season, when he had 29 goals and 83 assists to lead the NHL in scoring. This season, Daniel had a league-leading 104 points for Vancouver—the highest-scoring team in the NHL and the Presidents’ Trophy winner with the best regular-season record.
But so far in the Stanley Cup final, they’ve been about as useful as the Green Men—the spandex-clad pranksters beloved in Vancouver for their antics outside the opponents’ penalty box, who were flown to Boston by a radio station only to sit quietly in their seats before leaving the game early.
“You can’t hang it on one line,” Canucks defenceman Kevin Bieksa said. “They’re great players. We rely on them a lot. But they are playing against two pretty good defencemen.”
The brothers were key parts of the first-round victory over the Chicago Blackhawks, when Vancouver rallied after blowing a 3-0 lead against the defending Stanley Cup champions. But they were shut down in the second round of the playoffs against Nashville—combining for just seven points in the six-game Western Conference semifinal.
“We’re not going to sweep someone in the final. They have too good of a team,” Henrik Sedin said. “I don’t think anybody can win if their top players aren’t scoring. There’s three games left. We can’t be frustrated.”
Henrik is scoreless in the first four games of the Stanley Cup final, and Daniel has one goal and one assist, both in Vancouver’s Game 2 victory. Vancouver was especially ineffective on the power play, going 0-for-6 on Wednesday night; the Canucks have scored just one power-play goal in the series after leading the league in the regular season with 72.
That left Mike Milbury, the former Boston player and coach working the TV broadcast on Versus, mocking the twins. Speaking during the second intermission, Milbury said if he were coaching the Bruins he’d tell them, “Stay on Thelma and Louise. I mean Henrik and Daniel.”
“Henrik and Daniel have played soft,” he added.
Daniel Sedin said he thought the Canucks “played a heck of a game” but couldn’t manage to beat Tim Thomas, who had 38 saves for his third shutout of the playoffs.
“We had a few point-blank chances and just couldn’t score,” he said. “We have to find ways to score and ways to solve him.”