The Vancouver Canucks’ 2016-17 campaign has turned out to be half decent and there are things to celebrate.
Going into the 2016-17 season, we all knew the Vancouver Canucks could end up literally anywhere in the bottom half of the standings. But no matter how bad they were going to play, Henrik Sedin would certainly hit 1,000 points and twin brother Daniel would get a chance as well.
Now 45 games in, we are getting darn close.
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Oh, and Nikita Tryamkin is suddenly playing like the mobile giant we never knew we wanted. This is a great year.
The guy who just beat him to 1,000 points is Alex Ovechkin and the guy right behind is Sidney Crosby, and this says everything about the era in which Henrik Sedin has played and flourished.
The Vancouver Canuck centre has inched within two points of 1,000 in the National Hockey League and has a chance to reach that milestone, as Ovechkin did last week, as Crosby will do soon, when he plays Tuesday against the Nashville Predators.
Scoring NHL regular-season point No. 1,000 won’t improve Henrik Sedin’s 85th rank in the league’s all-time scoring list. But even though 85th doesn’t sound great, it is safe to say that the Sedin twins are two of the greatest players of all time — and scoring 1,000 points is an incredible achievement.
An almost-1,000-point scorer, Henrik is in great company. With Washington Capitals winger Alex Ovechkin at 1,005 and Pittsburgh Penguins centre Sidney Crosby following at 988, Sedin will likely be one of at least three players hitting the 1,000-point mark this season.
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Brother Daniel currently sits at “only” 967, 32 fewer than Henrik’s 998. He would need an almost unrealistically strong finish to the 2016-17 campaign to make it.
Whatever happens or doesn’t happen, though, Henrik and Daniel Sedin are the best Canucks of all time. No doubt about it.
Fast forward a season and a half later, and the Canucks appear to have potential oozing out of their blueliners.
For the longest time, I was one of the people who tried to calm Canucks fans down when Nikita Tryamkin decided to make the jump to North America. He was a young guy who didn’t speak the language and had a lot of adjusting to do. Labelling him Chara 2.0 just didn’t seem right.
Less than a year later, Tryamkin is… well, a young guy who doesn’t speak the language and has a lot of adjusting to do.
When the 2016-17 season started and Tryamkin refused to go on a conditioning stint with the AHL Utica Comets, I was almost ready to say: “just send him home then.” Today, I’m glad I never did — and I’m glad he wasn’t let go.
The major difference compared to last season is that the adjustment mostly needs to be done off the ice now. Tryamkin has become an important core player for the Canucks and continues to develop. When he is on the ice, he is an extremely exciting player to watch.
In other words, he has become everything I never thought he would after seeing him sit in the press box for the first 10 games of the year.
I am incredibly happy Tryamkin is a Vancouver Canuck. I am extremely happy about the way he is developing and the pace he is developing at.
Sorry for all the bad things I may or may not have said about him in the past.
Still, I won’t call him Chara 2.0 — yet. The sky is the limit, but he could remain a bottom-pairing player just as well.
If Tryamkin has taught me anything this season, it’s that patience can be key. His shape coming into camp didn’t mean he should be returned to Russia. But his first 40 NHL games aren’t enough for him to earn a “Chara 2.0” label either.