VANCOUVER – Vancouver Canucks captain Henrik Sedin could perhaps use the lure of an impending milestone to deliver him his first goal this season.
In eleven games, Sedin has not yet demonstrated the kind of form he showed to win both the Hart Memorial Trophy as the League’s Most Valuable Player and the Art Ross Trophy as the league’s highest scorer in 2010.
But although he hasn’t lit the lamp so far, the 32-year-old is still finding ways to set his teammates up for goals and he currently leads the Canucks with eight assists.
After notching two more helpers in the 5-1 home win over Calgary on Saturday night, Sedin—with a career total of 755 points—now sits just one point behind Canucks legend Markus Naslund as the franchise’s all-time scoring leader.
Sedin, who has been a Canuck since the 2000-01 season, can tie the record, or even eclipse it, as early as Tuesday night against the Minnesota Wild in front of his adoring home fans.
“If it happens (Tuesday) it would be real nice,”Sedin said.“It’s one of those things when you get the opportunity, it’s nice to get it done on home ice. We have three games to get it done.
“But I don’t want to take anything for granted. I’m just focused on trying to play better. Everything is going to take care of itself.
“I’m more worried about getting my game back to where it should be. It’s taken a few steps in the right direction lately. I just have to try to get better.”
Aside from his genuine desire to improve his game, the significance of the looming milestone was not lost on him.
“If you’re the franchise leader it has to mean something,”he said.“It means you have played in the city for a long time and been fairly successful.
“With Markus, we have been through the same journey. Coming from the outdoor rink in our hometown, then coming over here and having a tough couple of first years then battling through it. Of course it means a lot.”
In this shortened season, Sedin has already tinkered with the record books.
He played his 900th career game on Feb. 1 against Chicago and ranks second behind Calgary Flames defenceman Jay Bouwmeester among active skaters for consecutive games played with 592.
Said fellow Canucks veteran Alex Burrows:“(Henrik’s) the type of guy who will tell everybody, ‘it doesn’t mean a whole lot and it’s a team thing.’
“But the way he played (on Saturday) and the way he’s been playing for this organization, it’s remarkable.
“Once he hits that milestone we will try to make it special for him.”