Vancouver Canucks: Henrik Sedin vs. Daniel Sedin, Who Is the Better Player?
They are the faces of the Vancouver Canucks and have taken turns leading the league in scoring the past two seasons.
While they are identical in so many ways, there are some differences.
But which one is the better player?
Now, you may be thinking to yourself: “Who cares? They are both great so why do we need to have one be better?” That would be a valid question, but this is hockey and we’ve abolished ties, so there has to be a winner.
Deal with it.
Who is better, Henrik or Daniel?
Who would you take?
Tale of the Tape
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Obviously both Henrik and Daniel are the same age, 31. But the Canucks have listed Henrik at 6’2” and 188 pounds and Daniel at 6’1” and 187 pounds.
Daniel has played in 796 career games with Vancouver and Henrik has played in 819 games.
In those games Daniel has scored 253 goals and collected 410 assists for 663 points. For Henrik the numbers are 160 goals, 517 assists for 677 points.
They both average 0.83 points a game.
They both have won an Art Ross Trophy and Henrik has a Hart Trophy on his mantle.
They both sport the same facial hair as well, so you can rule out any Shea Weber- like beard advantage.
This is going to be tough.
Both of the twins have regularly been accused of being soft. Is this accurate?
Yes and no.
Yes, they have taken a dive or two and yes, they have disappeared in the playoffs against some of the more physical teams the Canucks have played.
But both of them are pretty tough on the puck. Together they have an ability to control the puck and have made evenstrength possessions resemble power plays.
They routinely take a lot of abuse from defensemen and still maintain the puck, so in that sense they show some toughness.
Neither like to mix it up after the whistle and you won’t see many roughing penalties. They will get their share of hooking, holding and tripping penalties however. Henrik has 464 career penalty minutes and Daniel has spent 332 minutes in the sin bin.
Henrik has been pretty injury prone while Daniel did miss some considerable two years ago, which accounts for their difference in games played.
There is no clear difference between the twins in this category and at best is a push.
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Believe it or not, there was a time when both the Sedins killed penalties for Vancouver. As they blossomed into offensive machines Alain Vigneault decided not to have them expend energy shorthanded.
Today, the Sedins only see the last few seconds of a penalty kill for the mere purpose of having them on the ice when the penalty is over.
They both have put up solid plus-minus numbers, Henrik with a career plus 160 and Daniel a 146.
Does this imply that Henrik is better defensively than Daniel?
Maybe, although plus-minus numbers can be extremely misleading.
Neither twin is particularly good in their own end. Often times they take lazy skates through their own end and seem more focused on getting a rush going the other way.
This category is a push as well, maybe with a slight nod to Henrik for the better plus-minus.
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Here is where the numbers are fun. The Sedins have torn through the NHL the past few years and are a legitimate scoring threat every time they take the ice.
They also make the players around them better (with the exception of Taylor Pyatt), gave Anson Carter a career year and have made Alex Burrows rich.
There is a belief that if you play with the Sedins you just need to head to the net and keep your stick on the ice; they will find you. Carter followed that mantra all the way to a 33 goal season in 2005 and Burrows has blossomed into a goal scorer while on the Sedins line.
The twins have different offensive games. Henrik is the play maker and every year is among the league leader in assists. Daniel is the sniper.
Together they are deadly. Whether it is because of some creepy twin magic or, more likely, the tremendous amount of time playing together, they seem to know where the other is.
Once the Sedins start to cycle the other team’s defense is scrambling and will find them selves out of position.
So, who is the better offensive player?
This is a tough call, they both average the same amount of points per game.
That being said, we are going with Henrik. He is the playmaker; he sets up Daniel, Burrows and even Ryan Kesler on the power play.
Daniel is a sniper for sure, but he is not great at creating his own shot.
Give the edge, a slight one, to Henrik here.
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The playoffs have been the lone black mark on the Sedins resume.
They both have seen 90 career playoff games. Again their stats are similar to each other, although down from their regular season numbers.
Daniel has scored 23 playoff goals, 39 assists, 62 points and is minus 9. Henrik has scored 20 goals, 46 assists and 66 points and a minus 15.
For the players they are during the regular season, these numbers are not great.
It is hard to say that either has been a better player than the other.
This category is a push as well.
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So which Sedin is the better player?
The answer is Henrik Sedin, barely.
Henrik is a better playmaker which makes everyone around him better, not just his brother. He also has a Hart Trophy and proved two years ago that he could do it without Daniel.
When Daniel missed a good chunk of the season Henrik didn’t slow down on his way to his best year ever.
The Canucks also voted Henrik as team captain, so he seems to carry more weight in the dressing room as well.
So give Henrik the “Best Sedin” trophy…for now. Knowing the two of them Daniel will even this out before they are both done.