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A bunch of exciting Sedin plays, cc: Sportsnet 650’s Jawn Jang

When Sportsnet 650 entered the Vancouver sports radio market, they faced an uphill battle.
The Sedins

When Sportsnet 650 entered the Vancouver sports radio market, they faced an uphill battle. Owning the Canucks broadcasting rights certainly helps their cause in the Great Radio Wars of Two-Thousand-and-Seventeen, but TSN 1040 has the longevity, along with more established hosts.

The truth is, both stations have been putting out some high-quality work over the last two months, with the competition seeming to spur both stations on to higher heights. Full disclosure, Sportsnet 650 has brought me on the air several times to talk about the Canucks, though I have not been paid to air my opinions.

I have appeared a few times with Satiar Shah and Jawn Jang on Sportsnet 650’s mid-morning show. Sat is the level-headed one of the pair, as he was when he was a producer with TSN 1040 on the Dave Pratt and Bro Jake morning show. He’s well-practiced at hearing outrageous or provocative takes and bringing in a more moderate voice. It’s a skill he needs even more, as Jawn has hot takes galore and he’s not shy about sharing them.

First it was Ben Hutton, who he thought was extraneous on the Canucks blue line because the team has “too many puck-movers.” Now Hutton is playing on the top pairing with Chris Tanev and proving he is an essential member of the Canucks’ defence corps.

Going after Hutton is one thing; taking on the Sedins is another. Go down that route — well, I like you Jawn, but you’re on the wide road to destruction.

In a discussion about how many superstars have played for the Canucks, Jawn declared that the Sedins are not superstars. In fact, he went so far as to say that they are not and have never been exciting players.

This is an incredible claim, that two Art Ross trophy winners, who also boast a Hart and a Lester B. Pearson award between them, are not superstars; that two surefire Hall of Fame players are not superstars; that the best players in franchise history, who hold nearly every franchise record in the books, are not superstars.

I gave Jawn the chance to backtrack on Twitter; instead, he doubled-down.



As you might imagine, this led to a pile-on from Canucks Twitter, as nothing unites (most) Canucks fans like defending the Sedins from unfair criticism.

The fact is, the Sedins are two of the most exciting players in Canucks history. Is it a different brand of excitement than what, say, Pavel Bure offered? Of course. In fact, the peak of Wizardous Sedinery represented an exciting brand of hockey that no one in the NHL had ever seen before.

Never before had two players been so in sync in the offensive zone, driving defenders batty with quick give-and-goes, slick backhand saucer passes, and blind tape-to-tape passes that seemed literally impossible. At their peak, they were nearly impossible to defend and they seemed to invent a brand new play every season: the slap-pass; the bank-pass off the end boards from centre-ice; the cross-ice, chest-high saucer pass.

It became clear, however, that what Jawn considers exciting hockey is pretty one-dimensional.



If you don’t think the Sedins’ brilliant playmaking at their peak was exciting — if you think the only exciting play in hockey is an end-to-end rush or a big shot — then you don’t like hockey; you like highlights.

So let’s look at a couple exciting plays from the Sedins, including, yes, the cycle. When the cycle was on, it was absolutely exciting, edge-of-your-seat stuff. Fans at the arena were buzzing every time the cycle began. One of the best examples is The Shift.

Or how about this shift from the 2011 playoffs. You can hear the excitement build in the crowd as the Sedins ragdoll the Sharks, moving the puck around the zone with impunity.

There are many more examples of the Sedins’ building excitement on the cycle. If you have the time, here is literally 22 minutes and 33 seconds of Sedin dominance.

Saying that incredible, dominant shifts like these are not exciting is like saying a tense psychological thriller isn’t exciting. Is it a different type of excitement from a Michael Bay movie filled with CGI and explosions? Certainly. But that tense build-up to the climactic release of a goal is still exciting.

Then there’s one of the most exciting moments in franchise history: Daniel Sedin sealing his Art Ross Trophy with an absurd between-the-legs goal for the hattrick against the Calgary Flames.

Please, tell me more about how the Sedins aren’t exciting.

If you want goals off the rush, how about this tic-tac-toe passing play:

Or one of the most ridiculous passes of Henrik’s career, when he passed it through Antti Niemi’s five-hole. I can’t help but get excited about that kind of pass, if only in an incredulous, I-can’t-believe-I-just-saw-that kind of way.

Then there’s the time Henrik summoned up the spirit of Peter Forsberg, which is impressive because Forsberg isn’t even dead.

But if it’s an end-to-end rush you demand, then it’s an end-to-end rush you shall have. And what’s more exciting that an coast-to-coast, game-winning playoff goal?

This is barely scratching the surface of the excitement the Sedins brought to Vancouver over their nearly two decades with the Canucks. Yes, they’re exciting players. Yes, they’re superstars. Respect the Sedins.

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