Move Over NHL MVP, It's Time for the MVH: Most Valuable Henrik
Sorry Henrik Tallinder, you won't be part of this discussion. Nope, this award will be going to one of the three uber-valuable Henriks in the NHL.
Each one of these men are crucial to their respective club's performance on a nightly basis. Much like a traditional MVP, but these three men all have one thing in common, well, two things in common: they each are studly Swedes and each share the exceptional name of Henrik.
If you haven't put the pieces together by now, I'm talking about Henrik Sedin, Henrik Zetterberg, and last but certainly not least, Henrik Lundqvist.
Take away one of these guys from their team, and the dynamic of their performance is drastically altered.
So let's take a look.
First, we have this year's Art Ross trophy winner, Henrik Sedin of the Vancouver Canucks.
After signing a nice five year, $30.5 million deal along with this twin brother Daniel during the offseason, this Henrik had a lot to prove.
For quite some time, Sedin had been on the cusp of breaking out. He set career highs in points last year with 82, and finally cracked the 20s marker for goals scored, lighting the lamp 22 times.
He had all the cards in position to be a huge letdown this season. Too bad nobody informed him of this.
Sedin, whether it was putting the puck in the net, which he did 29 times, or setting up one of his linemates, was involved in 42 percent of Vancouver's offense.
Sedin has proven that he belongs in the discussion amongst the league's best playmakers.
Many were worried that he wouldn't be able to play without his brother Daniel at his side, but early this year Henrik put those questions to bed when Daniel went down with a foot injury just four games into the season.
During the 18 games apart, Henrik put up 22 points, 12 of which were goals.
Henrik has kept up his ways thus far in the playoffs. Henrik assisted on the go-ahead, and winning goal in overtime which gave Vancouver the then, 1-0 series lead over Los Angeles.
Henrik will look to add to his postseason resume tonight, as the 'Nucks attempt to take the series lead over the Kings.
Next up is Henrik Zetterberg of the Detroit Red Wings.
This bearded beast from Motown had a slow start to his season but finished with a bang.
At first look at Zetterberg's '09-'10 stats, and you would think that's a pretty decent season—for someone other than Henrik Zetterberg.
I mean, tied for team-lead in points with 70 is a pretty good season, but it's nowhere near his expected totals.
After his slow start, Zetterberg missed eight games with a separated shoulder. When he came back, he tore it up the way most of us have come to expect.
Through his last 30 games, Zetterberg notched 30 points. That's more like it.
He, along with the goaltending of rookie netminder Jimmy Howard, were hugely responsible for Detroit's second-half surge up the Western Conference ranks.
Zetterberg has kept up that torrid pace thus far into the first-round series with the Coyotes.
In three games, Zetterberg leads the Red Wings in scoring with five points. Three of those points came from Henrik's hat trick en route to a 7-4 victory in Game Two, which evened up the series at one.
Detroit has several outlets for goal scoring and offense such as Pavel Datsyuk, Tomas Holmstrom, and Johan Franzen, but Zetterberg is their bread and butter.
Over the last five seasons, Henrik leads the Wings in goal scoring with 167 goals. Datsyuk is the next closest, trailing him by 22 goals.
Zetterberg's performance in the playoffs will have a huge impact on how deep the Wings go in the postseason.
Finally, we have the only Henrik who is not playing in the postseason.
Make no mistake: It's not his fault!
As a matter of fact, the next Henrik is the ONLY reason that his team was even anywhere near a playoff birth.
New York Rangers' goalie Henrik Lundqvist was blessed with the looks of GQ model and the patience of a saint. Oh, and the goaltending abilities of a freak.
The ulcers that must be developing in King Henrik's body from playing on the Rangers year after year must be at the highest level of severity.
Place Lundqvist on the Washington Capitals or Chicago Blackhawks and there is a 90-percent chance that he already has two Cups on his resume. No, instead Lundqvist was drafted by the ever-so frustrating Rangers.
Here's some fun facts about Henrik Lundqvist this season:
The Rangers have lost 17 games by one goal this season.
During 11 of those 17 games, Lundqvist gave up three goals or less.
Eight of those 17 games, King Henrik gave up two goals or fewer!
One of those games, Lundqvist didn't even give up a goal, but the Rangers still managed to lose in a shootout!
And let's not forget, when the Rangers had their playoffs on the line, they only mustered up one goal for Henrik, before they eventually lost 2-1 in a shootout. Oh, they also gave up 47 shots that game.
Lundqvist is the only goalie in NHL history to record five consecutive seasons with 30 wins or more to begin an NHL career. In NHL history!
Take Henrik Lundqvist off the Rangers roster, and I guarantee you that they do not win more than 28 games. They finished the season with 38 wins, so you have to figure at least 10 of those 17 aforementioned games Lundqvist stole for them.
If it wasn't for Hank, the Rangers might have won the draft lottery this season, not Edmonton.
So there you have it, the first ever MVH award.
Each is worthy of the prestigious award, who do you think deserves it most?
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